Even as the State government submitted that its exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs 375 crore in the construction of the new secretariat complex by the then DMK government, the Madras High Court on Wednesday extended the status quo restraining the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption (DVAC) from proceeding with the case against DMK president M K Stalin on the issue.
Hearing an appeal by Stalin against the handing over of the case to the DVAC, the Division Bench comprising Justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and K Kalyanasundaram granted the status quo until November 2.
Earlier, when the bench was informed by Advocate General (AG) Vijay Narayan that the files vested with the Justice Reghupathi commission was handed over to the DVAC based on a single Judge’s order, it sought to know from him as to whether any conclusion was arrived by the Commission.
The AG submitted that the Commission of Enquiry appointed an officer in the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP) to enquire the matter and based on this, the officer submitted a 400-page report that revealed a loss of Rs 375 crore to the exchequer owing to irregularities in the construction of the new secretariat complex. Based on this, the government referred the matter to the DVAC for enquiry, the AG said.
However, on wondering as to how the government could order for a DVAC probe based on a report filed by the SP while the Commission of Enquiry itself had not arrived at any conclusion on the issue, the bench directed the AG to file a detailed counter before extending the status quo.
Stalin had contended that consequent to the death of Karunanidhi the writ petitions filed by him challenging the proceedings of the Justice Reghupathi Commission came to be dismissed as abated on September 20, 2018.
Under such circumstances, when a writ petition is dismissed as abated consequent to the death of a person, all interim orders passed earlier in that writ petition merges with the final orders and stands abated, he said.