The Director of Vigilance and Anti-corruption was directed by the Madras High Court to register and probe a complaint alleging that the then Villupuram District Environmental Engineer (DEE) of the TN Pollution Control Board had given his consent for establishing a ready mix concrete factory by issuing a no objection certificate (NOC) in an eco-sensitive area in Puducherry, after obtaining illegal gratification.
Justice Aruna Jagadeesan gave the direction while passing orders on a petition from Ashok Anand, the complainant.
The judge noted that the preliminary enquiry conducted by the then Inspector of Police had found various irregularities and suppression of facts, substantiating the complainant’s allegations. But the PCB had given a clean chit to the DEE. To resolve the issue, the court directed the DV&AC to register the complaint dated October 27, 2012 and investigate it.
Petitioner’s counsel Abudukumar Rajarathinam submitted that his client was the chairman of a residential-cum-day school, affiliated to the CBSE, located near the Oussudu Lake. The Puducherry government declared the lake as Birds Sanctuary and the surrounding area was to be protected from polluters and to safeguard the environment. While so, the then DEE Arumugam in 2012 gave his consent by issuing NOC to Balaji Ready Mix constructing a factory near the lake, suppressing facts and in violation of the environmental laws. Therefore, suspecting that Arumugam received huge consideration, the petitioner gave a complaint to the V&AC but there was no progress, Abudukumar added.
The authorities filed a status report stating that an inspector of police of V&AC conducted an enquiry on the complaint and submitted his report, which was sent to the TNPCB, which after enquiry found that for the consent given no allegation can be made out against the