DA case: Madras high court orders probe against TN minister

A view of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to probe the allegations that Dairy Development Minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court also directed the DVAC that the investigation should be headed by an officer who is not less than the rank of a Superintendent of Police (SP).

A division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha also asked the DVAC to file a preliminary report on its investigations into the case before the court in a sealed cover on August 6.

The order came on a petition filed by B Mahendran in 2013 alleging that Bhalaji, the then minister for information and special programme implementation, had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. The court had in March called for detailed reports and files from DVAC and the Tamil Nadu government.

In the compliance report, the DVAC said it did not find any disproportionate assets and maintained that no prima facie offence was made out under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The petitioner, Mahendran, alleged that Bhalaji had purchased land at Devanatham and Tiruthangal in Virudhunagar district below the market value.

Bhalaji was the president of the Tiruthangal Village Panchayat before he became a minister in 2011 when the AIADMK stormed back to power and Jayalalithaa was sworn in as chief minister.

Tuesday's order came as a severe embarrassment to the AIADMK government, which is fighting battles every day.

Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar is already under the scanner of investigating agencies which are probing the multi-crore gutkha scam.

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DA case: Madras high court orders probe against TN minister

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