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Contracts not awarded to close relatives of TN CM: Madras High Court
The Madras High Court was informed that the contracts to lay roads in the state were not awarded to any close relatives of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
The Advocate General, Vijay Narayan, appearing for the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) said tenders were given only to distant relatives of the chief minister, who is the chairman of the empowered committee to award contracts.
Narayan made the submission before Justice Jagadish Chandira on the petition by R S Bharathi, Organising Secretary of the DMK, alleging corruption and violation of World Bank guidelines on the award of road contracts by Palaniswami.
In his petition, Bharathi alleged that Palaniswami had abused his power and allotted highway projects worth Rs 3,500 crore to his relatives and 'benamis.'
The AG further submitted that the petitioner's prayer was complied with by conducting a preliminary inquiry and sending its report to the vigilance commissioner, who was yet to take a call on it.
The AG said they would have a remedy after the decision of the vigilance commissioner.
On the allegation of high contract price, the AG said the expenditure differs from one place to the other based on different factors, like the condition of the soil.
To a query by the judge on the details of the amounts paid to contractors, the AG said it was available in the sealed cover placed before the court.
The judge then posted the matter for further hearing to October 5 and directed the petitioner's counsel to file the written arguments.