The first Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu held the observation, on hearing a petition by advocate P Pugalenthi sought direction to the government to conduct an inquiry into the scam.
When the petitioner stated that the officials in the Madurai central prison have involved in a scam in selling the stationery materials to the various government offices, including the judicial department, the bench asked for proof to substantiate the allegation.
M Radhakrishnan, counsel for the petitioner submitted that he submitted an RTI explaining the scam. Nevertheless, the judges were not satisfied with the submission.
“The RTI information just says the prison department has sold some 2,000 envelopes and other items. However, you (petitioner) are alleging that the department has sold two lakh envelopes. Where is the evidence for this?” Justice MN Bhandari asked the petitioner.
Though the petitioner managed to submit that it is the confidential information that he fetched through his sources, the court rejected the contention.
The bench also noted that the petition is not maintainable unless the petitioner submits the material to prove his evidence. “You should have done research before filing this petition before the HC. Otherwise, it would be dismissed,” the bench noted.
Since the court granted liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh petition with proper evidence, the counsel for Pugalenthi said that he is withdrawing his petition.
In his writ petition, Advocate Pugalenthi had said that the Madurai central prison while supplying stationery articles to the district courts and other government offices, prepared bills for the large quantities of stationery articles whereas the supply of stationery articles was of infinitesimally lesser quantity.
“By getting those bills passed by the concerned drawing officers, the superintendent of prisons, Madurai central prison was instrumental in misappropriating public money to the tune of more than Rs 30 crores between June 1, 2019, and June 30, 2021,” the petition read,” he added.
He sought a DVAC probe in the alleged scam.