The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on Monday (May 22) filed separate charge sheets against two former AIADMK Ministers, K.P. Anbalagan and C.Vijaybhaskar, in a disproportionate assets case.
In the chargesheet filed at the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court in Dharmapuri, the DVAC accused Anbalagan, his wife Malliga, and his sons Sasimohan and Chandramohan of amassing wealth to the tune of Rs 45.2 crore that was disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The former minister was also investigated for investing heavily in the granite industry of Telangana. DVAC had carried out searches in many parts of Telangana in a bid to unearth the benami transactions being carried out by the Anbalagan and other former ministers.
The DVAC charged Anbalagan, his family and associates with acquiring assets in the form of "buildings, bank balances, business investments, landed property, machinery, ornaments, and vehicles in the name of the family members" and that the "ill-gotten money was circulated in a trust named 'Saraswathi Pachiappan Educational and Charitable Trust.'
The co-accused include Anbalagan's two nephews, son-in-law, former town panchayat president of Karimangalam and a school correspondent, along with the Saraswathi Pachiappan Educational and Charitable Trust.
In September 2022, Madras high court directed the DVAC To speed up the process of filing a chargesheet in the disproportionate assets (DA) case registered against Anbalagan.
Anbalagan, a sitting legislator from the Palacode assembly constituency in Dharmapuri district, was a two-time minister in the AIADMK cabinet. A popular face of the party in Dharmapuri district, Anbalagan has won five successive elections from Palacode. In the 2021 elections, Anbalagan secured a resounding victory by a margin of over 28,000 votes over his DMK rival P.K.Murugan.
Besides serving Tamil Nadu's Higher Education Minister, Anbalagan has also held Municipal Administration, Rural Development & Information portfolios.
DVAC files chargesheet against former T.N. Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar
The DVAC filed a chargesheet in the disproportionate assets case against former AIADMK Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar and his wife Ramya in Pudukottai court.
The DVAC has accused Vijayabaskar and his wife of amassing wealth in their names and that of their family members in the form of movable and immovable properties to the tune of ₹35.79 crore, disproportionate to their known sources of income.
In October 2022, DVAC conducted raids at 43 locations linked to Vijayabaskar as part of its investigation in the disproportionate assets case.
In the FIR it had filed earlier, the DVAC said that Vijayabaskar owned pecuniary resources and properties in the form of deposits in banks, jewels, motor vehicles, agriculture lands, house sites, insurance policies, investment in partnership firms and buildings to the tune of Rs.6.41 crore in his name as well as in the name of his wife, Ramya.
The FIR also alleged that the former minister acquired properties in the name of business firms Rasi Blue Metals, Green land Hi-tech Promoters, Om Sri Vari Stones (P) Ltd, Rasi Enterprises, Anya Enterprises, V Infrastructure and Sai Hridham Infraa Private Ltd, in which he and his family members were proprietors or shareholders.
Vijayabhaskar, a senior leader of ADMK and sitting MLA from Viralimalai seat in Pudukottai district, was also charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Gutka scam.
In November 2022, CBI filed a supplementary charge sheet against Vijayabaskar, former Commercial Taxes Minister B.V. Ramana, former Directors-General of Police T.K. Rajendran and S. George, and a few officials in a case related to the illegal sale of gutkha in the state, popularly known as 'Guktha scam')
The case first came to light in July 2016 during the raids conducted by the Income-Tax Department at the residence of Madhava Rao of Jayam Industries (owner of MDM brand of gutkha) in connection with a tax evasion case.
During the raid, the I.T. department sleuths recovered a diary detailing the bribes allegedly paid to Vijayabaskar, Rajendran and George, who had served as Chennai Police Commissioner thrice, for allowing the illegal sale of tobacco-based products.
Jayam Industries is alleged to have paid the former Ministers, former IPS officers and other officials in the Tamil Nadu police, Greater Chennai Corporation, Food Safety Department and Commercial Taxes wing, among others, over ₹39.91 crores in bribes for facilitating the storage, transportation and sale of gutkha in Chennai city.
In 2013, the Tamil Nadu government banned the manufacture, storage and sale of the chewable forms of tobacco, including gutkha and pan masala. It, however, continued to sell illegally across the state.
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