CHENNAI: Why not a probe by CBI be ordered into allegations of amassing of wealth disproportionate to known sources of income against Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the Madras High Court asked on Tuesday. Justice G Jayachandran raised the question when a petition from DMK Rajya Sabha member R S Bharathi came up before him.
Bharathi had filed the petition for a directive to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to register a case on his complaint he had lodged in March last and hold an inquiry into it. He alleged that Panneerselvam had amassed wealth by abusing his power and invested the same in companies and purchased property in his name and in the names of his benamis. For this purpose, Panneerselvam had made false declarations before the income tax authorities and election officials. Alleging that the DVAC had not acted on his complaint till date, the petitioner moved the court.
The court had already made it clear in a number of cases that when a complaint was given against a public servant, the DVAC should look into it directly and there was no need for prior sanction, petitioner pointed out.
During last Assembly elections, the Deputy Chief Minister’s declaration before the Election Commission was that he had an annual income of 5.80 lakh, the petitioner claimed and said in the same period, he had bought a car worth 17.85 lakh.
The judge directed the DVAC to explain why no probe was initiated even three months after the complaint was lodged against Panneerselvam. He posted the matter for July 23 for further hearing.