Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court today (31 August) ordered notices to be sent to former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) regarding the disproportionate assets case.
Justice Venkatesh had taken up suo moto revision of the case, in which Panneerselvam was discharged after the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) came to power in 2012, yesterday (30 August).
This is the fourth such case after those of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) ministers K Ponmudy, Thangam Thennarasu and KKSSR Ramachandran.
Criticising the role of the DVAC, he said, “People manning the DVAC are expected to be independent. Unfortunately, the DVAC is becoming a chameleon and taking colour from the government depending on who is in power."
According to a report by The Hindu, the DVAC had registered a case against Panneerselvam in 2006, after the DMK came to power stating that he and his family members had accumulated disproportionate assets to their known sources of income during his tenure as minister in the AIADMK government between 2001 to 2006.
The DVAC conducted the investigation and filed a chargesheet before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Theni in 2009. The CJM took cognisance of the chargesheet.
In 2012, when the AIADMK came to power, the DVAC filed a plea before the CJM saying that it needed to conduct further investigation.
The plea was allowed.
Panneerselvam approached the Madurai High Court and got the case transferred to Sivaganga.
The DVAC then submitted a report stating that it would like to close the case against him. It stated that the Speaker had granted assent to withdraw the case and the state government had decided to withdraw the sanction to prosecute him.
The CJM of Sivaganga then allowed the prosecution to withdraw the case and discharged all the accused.
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