The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has informed the Madras High Court that it is awaiting a go-ahead from the Vigilance commissioner to initiate a probe into a complaint alleging that the associates of former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had illegally mined gravel sand from a government land in Theni district.
CE Pratap, Government Advocate (civil side), who appeared for the DVAC, made the submission before Justice V Bharathidasan while the judge heard a plea moved by T Gnanarajan, a resident of Upparpatti village in Theni.
The petitioner had contended that the former CM, his associates and his family members had mined gravel worth Rs 500 crore from government lands without getting any approval.
“V Annaprakasam, PA to Panneerselvam and his family members, are involved in the act. They mined gravel from government land in Vadaveeranaickenpatty village in Theni. Even as I submitted a 17-page report explaining these illegalities with several supporting documents, running into 217 pages, the DVAC has not initiated any action,” the petitioner submitted.
He further contended that the offenders have converted the government land into private properties after completing the illegal mining operations. “The DVAC is duty-bound to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter to find whether there was any wrongdoing. If anything has occurred, the DVAC should register FIR against the offenders on the basis of the complaint,” Gnanarajan argued citing a Supreme Court order in Lalita Kumari’s case.
The government advocate had submitted that the matter sent by the DVAC is pending before the Vigilance Commissioner and would be acted upon his approval. On recoding the submission, the HC adjourned the matter for two months.