More trouble is in store for DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi with the Madras High Court direction to expedite the vigilance probe into loss of over Rs 200 crore to the exchequer in the conduct of the World Classical Tamil Conference at Coimbatore in 2010.
The Tamil jamboree, in which the Karunanidhi family was given prominence, was re-christened as such after the International Association for Tamil Research (IATR), which conducted the previous World Tamil Conferences, refused to hold the event in view of the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka after 2009 war. The meet was held from June 23, 2010.
Justice R Mala, who gave the order on Monday, also directed the DVAC to register a case if a cognisable offence was made out.
This direction followed the submission from public prosecutor S Shanmuga Velayutham that the government had referred the complaint to the DVAC for holding a detailed inquiry into the allegations. In pursuance of this, the DVAC had appointed Mohammed Iqbal, DSP, to hold the inquiry and he had already commenced the process of inquiry, Velayutham added.
In his criminal original petition, advocate B Ramesh Babu of Perambur submitted that the conference was not approved by the IATR. The then DMK government, to suit its whims and fancies, created a committee headed by Karunanidhi and other ministers as members, to portray him as the only person striving for the Tamil cause.
Immediately after the conference, Karunanidhi announced that Rs 301 crore had been spent for the mega event. Using the RTI route, Ramesh applied to the auditing department of the government, which replied that only Rs 151 crore had been spent. On the contrary, the Secretary to the Tamil development clarified that Rs 262 crore was the expenditure. This revealed that the former CM and the ministers had conspired and misappropriated government funds. He lodged a complaint with the DVAC on March 8 this year. As there was no progress, he filed the present petition.