Highways tender irregularity case: EPS approaches HC

On hearing the submissions of the EPS, Justice Krishnan Ramasamy ordered notice to Arappor Iyakkam, its coordinator Jayaram Venkatesan and others returnable on August 11.
Former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami
Former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami File photo

CHENNAI: Former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami filed a civil suit before the Madras High Court seeking damages from Arappor Iyakkam for making corruption allegations against the AIADMK leader for awarding the highways tenders illegally during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the State.

On hearing the submissions of the EPS, Justice Krishnan Ramasamy ordered notice to Arappor Iyakkam, its coordinator Jayaram Venkatesan and others returnable on August 11. EPS also prayed for a direction to restrain the defendants from making further allegations and charges against him.

However, the judge observed that already the defendants had published their charges against the plaintiff and the court could not grant any injunction now. The judge noted that if the defendants continue to level allegations against the former CM, the plaintiff shall notify the same before the court.

EPS also noted that the allegations that caused Rs 692 crore loss to the state exchequer by awarding highways tenders are completely false and disrepute his name and fame.

According to Palaniswami, he was elected as the interim-general secretary of the AIADMK party and several disgruntled people of his party had joined hands with the Arappor Iyakkam and the current ruling party to lower his image.

“While the defendants allege that the irregularity occurred in July 2020, their delayed complaint shows that it is intentional to cause disrepute to the plaintiff,” EPS’ counsel submitted.

Arappor Iyakkam lodged a complaint with DVAC saying that EPS, who was holding the highways and minor ports portfolio, had illegally awarded tenders for laying roads in Sivaganga, Thanjavur, and Coimbatore districts where the roads were already laid. Due to the act of Palaniswami, the government had lost about Rs.692 crore while he was in office.

The matter has been adjourned to August 11.

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