CHENNAI: Four years after a plea for CBI investigation against former Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for alleged irregularities in awarding tenders was filed, the Supreme Court (SC) will hear the case on Tuesday.
The petition was filed by DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi seeking an early hearing of the matter related to the stay on the Madras High Court order directing a CBI probe against Palaniswami.
On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government also mentioned the case before the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, and sought a hearing in the matter.
The court agreed and listed the matter for Tuesday. In October 2018, the apex court stayed a Madras High Court order directing a CBI probe into tender irregularities in a department headed by Palaniswami, the then chief minister. He then moved the Supreme Court challenging the order.
Bharathi filed a petition accusing Palaniswami of misusing his official position to allocate various road construction projects to companies owned by his relatives and others. In response, Palaniswami contended that the high court wrongly passed the order without issuing him a notice and providing him an opportunity to defend himself.
The order had come on Bharathi’s plea seeking direction to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to register a case against the former chief minister. It rejected a preliminary report submitted by the DVAC, which give a clean chit to Palaniswami.
On October 29, 2018, the Supreme Court stayed the high court order directing a CBI investigation and issued notice to Bharathi who had filed a petition. Now, after four years, the plea for a CBI investigation into the alleged irregularities is being taken up by the Supreme Court.
The development comes at a time when O Panneerselvam has challenged Palaniswami’s election as interim general secretary of the AIADMK. The Supreme Court’s ruling on this key issue may have repercussions in the political arena in Tamil Nadu.
What the case is about
In October 2018, the SC stayed a Madras HC order directing a CBI probe into tender irregularities in a department headed by Palaniswami, the then chief minister. He then moved the SC challenging the order