Relief for Velumani in tender deal; DA case on 

The court, however, refused relief in a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed against him.

Published: 01st December 2022 03:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2022 03:03 AM   |  A+A-

Former Tamil Nadu minister SP Velumani

Former Tamil Nadu minister SP Velumani (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Former minister for municipal administration and senior AIADMK leader SP Velumani got a huge reprieve on Wednesday as the Madras High Court quashed an FIR filed against him by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) of Tamil Nadu over alleged irregularities in awarding tenders in Chennai and Coimbatore municipal corporations.  The court, however, refused relief in a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed against him.

“The criminal law cannot be used to fuel a witch hunt. Be it a politician or any other citizen, the court cannot remain a mute spectator when the police power of the state is sought to be used for oblique purposes,” a division bench of Justices PN Prakash and RMT Teekaa Raman said while quashing the FIR registered against Velumani by the DVAC after the DMK came to power.

Saying that only the officials concerned are primarily responsible for awarding tenders, the court said it finds the registration of FIR against Velumani a colourable exercise of power by police and an abuse of process. The bench, however, added that it is made abundantly clear that it is open to the investigating officer to proceed with the probe and if he gathers any fresh material to implicate Velumani, the ex-minister can be arrainged as an accused in the final report.

Referring to the findings of the CAG report, which was mainly relied upon by the DVAC for registering the fresh FIR, on awarding contracts in the municipal corporations, the bench noted that the report found fault with corporation officials for injudiciously accepting absurdly low rates and nothing more.

Police dance to tunes of party in power, says court

It said that to say that since there is a perception that all politicians are corrupt, Velumani must also be presumed to be corrupt is a far-fetched thesis that simply does not appeal. We are afraid that an FIR against a politician, or for that matter against any citizen, cannot be registered on the basis of perceptions, the judges said.

Politicians and political parties are sine quo non for democracy. We may have reservations about them but it was this clan that was responsible for protecting democracy in the country, and stood against the Emergency, the bench said.

The court observed that police have danced to the tunes of the party in power as the then SP of DVAC Ponni gave a report exonerating Velumani while another SP Gangadhar has given a report implicating him. The court, however, said it was not saying that he is an angel.

The bench refused to grant the relief sought by Velumani regarding the FIR registered by the DVAC in Coimbatore on disproportionate assets amassed by him and his relatives.

‘Perception cannot be basis for FIR’ 
“Since there is a perception that all politicians are corrupt, Velumani must  be presumed to be corrupt is a far-fetched thesis,” HC said 

India Matters


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