The retired officer from Indian Forest Services was appointed as chairman of the TNPCB in 2019 by the earlier government.
A corruption case was registered against Venkatachalam for his alleged involvement in criminal misconduct and criminal misappropriation while holding the post of member secretary, TNPCB, Chennai, (October 14, 2013, to July 29, 2014), member secretary of SEIAA (2017-2018) and chairman of TNPCB, Chennai, (September 27, 2019, to till date), said a press release from the DVAC.
In searches carried out on Thursday, Rs 13.5 lakh, 8 kg gold and documents relevant to the case were recovered. The cash and documents related to the case would be seized. Around 10 kg of sandalwood articles were also seen at his residence. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department officials have been requested to take action, the press release said.
VAO caught taking bribe
A village administrative officer (VAO) was caught red-handed by the DVAC sleuths while accepting a bribe of Rs 5000 in Tiruvallur on Thursday.
The arrested officer was identified as Thirumal, VAO of Thirupatchur Village in Tiruvallur. The DVAC trap was set following a complaint.
The petitioner, in his complaint, said he had applied for a Patta name transfer for his land, for which the VAO demanded Rs 5,000 as a bribe to processing the application. When the VAO reiterated his demand and received the bribe from the complainant, officials swooped in and arrested the former.