The Madras High Court which had earlier refused to close the disproportionate assets case against Milk and Dairy Development Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji despite a clean chit from the DVAC (directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption), took stock of the case on Thursday before adjourning it to March 26.
When the plea came up for hearing, senior counsel I Subramanian appearing for the Minister cited various orders passed by the Apex court and the High Court to substantiate his claim that based on a detailed inquiry held by the DVAC and it came to a fair conclusion that the Minister has not acquired any asset over his known source of income.
Also, noting that the DVAC itself has pointed out that there is no prima facie evidence that the Minister had amassed wealth as alleged, the Minister’s counsel sought the bench to accept the preliminary report and close all further proceedings of the case.
Recording the submissions, the bench said that while DVAC has filed a preliminary report, the counsel for Minister is terming it as a detailed report.
“By considering the arguments placed and also perusal of the closure report and consideration of materials placed would prima facie disclose that elaborate and detailed inquiry on the line of regular investigation has been done by the way of preliminary inquiry,” the bench said.
Therefore, this court requires assistance of the senior counsel Subramanian and the state public prosecutor A Natarajan as to the scope of preliminary inquiry especially in the light of various pronouncements made by the Supreme Court and the High Court, the bench added.
The case relates to a complaint lodged by Mahendran in 2013 claiming that the Minister was not even an income tax assesse, when he contested assembly elections in 2011. But he had made declaration in subsequent elections that he owns several movable and immovable properties.