New Delhi: The Supreme Court today granted an interim stay on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into the corruption charges against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in awarding road contracts.
The stay order was issued following a petition filed by Taminadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) challenging the order by the Madras High Court, which directed the CBI to take over the case.
The judges who heard the petition said if there are any discrepancies in the tender, then it should have been cancelled instead of filing a case against the Chief Minister.
The DVAC in its petition had informed the apex court that there was no cognisable offence against the Chief Minister and that they could not find any irregularities in the highway contracts. A CBI investigation was not sought by the petitioner, it said and added that the High Court had not perused the sealed reports it had asked the anti-graft agency to submit.
The DVAC has thus said that the Madras HC order comes without analysing the evidence presented before it. In June this year, the DMK had written to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, alleging that there was corruption in the allocation of contracts of five highways projects to various firms owned by relatives of Palaniswami. The Highways and Minor Ports portfolio is held by him.
On 12 October, Justice Jagdish of the Madras High Court, dismissing the report submitted by the DVAC, ordered CBI investigation to be headed by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police. He stated that the probe was being transferred to the CBI in the interest of transparency.