Allowing the plea by former DMK MLA M Appavu, a division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice P Rajamanickam, adjourned the plea to January 6 for hearing.
The former MLA had contended that utilising Rule 110 of the TN Legislative Assembly Rules, the said minister was provided with a sanction of Rs 969.32 crore in three stages from 2015 for this purpose totally ignoring the Panchayati Raj Act.
Moreover, besides utilisation of Section 110 wherein the opposition cannot raise queries, out of the Rs 969.32 crore of exchequer money, Rs 400 crore was apportioned from the 14th Finance Commission of the Union of India, Rs 300 crore from the State Finance Commission and Rs 200 crore from Capital Grant Fund intended for Rural Local Bodies Fund. The remaining Rs 63.92 crore was taken from the District and Panchayat Union funds, Appavu alleged while pointing out that as per the Panchayati Raj system, the funds allowed from the Finance Commission shall be utilised by the elected village panchayat presidents only.
The Minister also constituted a panel to set the terms of tender whereby the purchases were made at high cost from benami and shell companies of himself and his relatives thereby making a wrongful gain of Rs 500 crore, the former MLA alleged.
Another plea by Appavu seeking a probe against Food Minister R Kamaraj for allegedly playing fraud in the purchase of PDS rice was also adjourned to January 6.