The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) and Chennai Corporation to respond to a Public Interest Litigation filed by a NGO, Arappor Iyakkam, alleging corruption in Corporation contracts for laying of roads and stormwater drains in 2018 and demanded the registration of FIR into the complaints.
The NGO made a complaint to DVAC and Commissioner of Chennai Corporation on November 1, 2018, seeking criminal action on all public servants. “Tenders for relaying existing BRR and internal roads for a value of around Rs 300 crores for 3,800 roads in the city and there are major violations in it,” the petition said.
DVAC contented that preliminary enquiry was done on March 11, 2019. The division bench has asked the DVAC to file a status report on preliminary enquiries on February 19 and directed the NGO to include Local Administration Minister SP Velumani as party respondent.
“BRR floated 48 tenders and 73 tenders issued by Storm Water Drain departments worth Rs 290 crore. After analsying the tenders, we found criminal violations in many of these tenders leading to unjust enrichment of a few contractors and officials,” the petition added.
The petitioner contended that there were pricing fraud like, they floated tenders for using river sand for construction but in turn the contractors used M-Sand. The Corporation awarded tenders higher than the scheduled rate of market rates, and overpricing and price manipulation has been done in many methods, the NGO alleged.
The petitioner submitted that FIR should be filed based on their complaint and to constitute a SIT by Madras High Court and subsequently to direct SIT to conduct time-bound, court monitored investigation.