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Tamil Nadu: Political rivals, unsuccessful bidders backing NGO, claim former minister SP Velumani

A former AIADMK minister has submitted before the Madras High Court that an NGO that has leveled allegations of irregularities in awarding contracts in the previous regime by his political rivals and unsuccessful bidders for projects in Chennai and Coimbatore corporations. were supported.

SP Velumani, who has handled the implementation of municipal administration, rural development and special programs departments in the AIADMK ministry, has alleged that Arapor Ayyakkam has moved the Madras High Court with “impure hands” alleging irregularities in award of contracts .

The additional counter-affidavit was filed last week in response to a PIL filed by the NGO in 2018 making various allegations against Velumani in the award of contracts worth several crores.

Velumani submitted that his political rivals, along with the contractors who had failed to succeed in the bid, had formed a syndicate to wind up their commercial or slant motive through the writ petitioner. If the unsuccessful bidders in the contracts had any grievances, it was open to them to challenge the same in a manner known to them by law. But they were doing a shadow and pseudo litigation through the writ petitioner.

Therefore, the petitioner had not approached the court with clean hands, the counter said.

Velumani also pointed out that as per the orders of the High Court dated October 18, 2019, an inquiry was conducted by R Ponni, SP, DVAC.

During the investigation, the special team examined 129 witnesses and perused 1,132 documents, besides inquiring about confidential ones such as bank details, electronic data relating to IP addresses of successful contractors and their respective establishments and a report to the Vigilance presented. 16 December 2019.

In return, DVAC sent the report to the government on January 20, 2020 and later accepted it and dropped further action against him. Based on the decision taken by the government, the Chief Secretary filed a petition before the High Court for directions to dispose of the petition filed by Ayyakkam, as it had become infructuous. This petition is pending.

Whereas, DVAC and the State Government, with the active assistance of the petitioner, using the findings of a CAG report, which had nothing to do with the pending report, submitted in a hearing on 19 July this year that the State Audit Watchdog’s Will investigate further based on the report.

Terming the observations of the High Court as wrong, DVAC took action to register an FIR against him. And the NGO had also filed a petition to oversee the investigation.

In August this year, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had registered a case against Velumani for allegedly abusing his official position and allotting tenders. Searched their premises.

The petitioner further argued that this was happening in view of the subsequent change in the political scenario and change in administration. Unquestionably he is no longer a minister. Even otherwise, he never had any nexus or access to law enforcement authorities to obstruct the process of a fair and independent investigation. The petitioner submitted that the position prevailing at the time of filing the writ petition no longer exists.

“Thus, prayer for monitoring the investigation of crime no. 16 of 2021 does not arise. Further, it would cause serious prejudice to my right of defense in the FIR under investigation. Continuation of this writ petition will create more prejudice to my legal remedies than any legal forum I am awaiting the outcome of the present writ petition,” Velumani further argued.

He prayed to the court to give him a copy of the preliminary inquiry report and make it as part of the case files and dispose of Iyakkam’s writ petition as infructuous.

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