CHENNAI: Former health minister C Vijayabaskar has been under the radar of investigation of tax sleuths since 2017. Vijayabaskar is said to be the first minister from the State to come under the scrutiny of two Central agencies — the Income Tax department and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The DVAC is the third agency to conduct raids at properties belonging to the incumbent Viralimalai MLA.
In 2017, during the RK Nagar by-election, I-T officials carried out searches at the residence and on business premises belonging to Vijayabaskar, and his associates. Crores, allegedly kept for distributing to voters, were seized, according to a report submitted by the I-T department in 2018.
The same report claimed Vijayabaskar’s father Chinnathambi had confessed that money was received from various persons for getting new jobs or transfer orders. However, Chinnathambi denied this. The report also stated that a stone quarry in Pudukottai reportedly co-owned by Vijayabaskar allegedly violated mining norms and that the revenue earned was allegedly not accounted for.
In 2018, the CBI swooped down on properties belonging to Vijayabaskar and his kith and kin as part of its probe into the gutkha scam. The alleged scam surfaced in 2017, four years after the Gutkha ban in 2013, when I-T officials carried out searches in a godown, offices, and residences of a gutkha manufacturer who had been facing charges of tax evasion.
During the searches, the officials had reportedly seized a diary containing names of those who received kickbacks from the manufacturer for allowing the sale of the banned product. Vijayabaskar was allegedly one of the recipients apart from two former police commissioners.