DVAC probe in gutkha scam in final stages, submits advocate general

The First Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose on recording the arguments put forth by the state, directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC), the food safety department and the petitioner J Anbazhagan of DMK in the sensational Gutkha scam, reserved its order with the direction to file their respective written arguments.
DVAC probe in gutkha scam in final stages, submits advocate general
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Chennai

Earlier, the advocate-general Vijay Narayan, appearing for the state said the investigation by DVAC, is in the final stage and most of the incidents connected to the case have taken place in Tamil Nadu. The mere presence of two or more central government officials in the suspect list does not automatically warrant a CBI inquiry, he said and added that said since the case relates largely to state government officials, it should be probed by the DVAC, with cooperation from the CBI and not vice versa.
Additional advocate-general SR Rajagopalan appearing for Tamil Nadu Food Safety Department, said, the stay order obtained by gutkha manufacturers from the High Court against a notification issued by the government banning chewable tobacco, as an impediment that had led to the clandestine sale. But, the department has so far seized and destroyed over 1.19 lakh kgs of banned gutkha products across the state, he added.
Additional advocate-general PH Aravind Pandian arguing on behalf of the DVAC submitted that the petitioner Anbazhagan has not filed the PIL in his private capacity, but as a member and legislator of DMK, with political motive.
Senior counsel for the petitioner P Wilson said, even the FIR in the case was filed only after the issue was highlighted in the state Assembly by the Opposition leader clearly revealing that a fair probe by the DVAC was not possible.
He also reiterated his submission that since the allegation has multi-state ramifications, CBI is the only appropriate agency to carry out investigation.

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