We have proof against EPS: Arappor on highways tender irregularity

The organization alleged that due to the irregularities in awarding highways department tenders, a loss of Rs.692 crore occurred to the state’s exchequer.
Former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami
Former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami

CHENNAI: The familiar anti-corruption NGO - Arappor Iyakkam had informed the Madras High Court that it possesses proper evidence and materials against former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for awarding highways department tenders illegally when he held the portfolio highways department.

The organization alleged that due to the irregularities in awarding highways department tenders, a loss of Rs.692 crore occurred to the state’s exchequer.

As per the direction of Justice Krishnan Ramasamy of Madras HC on the criminal defamation suit filed by EPS against Arappor’s convener Jayaram Venkatesan, the defendant filed the counter.

EPS sought 100 crore rupees damages for making allegations on social media as well as for lodging complaints with the DVAC.

Jayaram Venkatesan, in his affidavit, submitted, “I have lodged a complaint with the DVAC on July 26, 2022, which was published on our social media and it is not defamatory.”

Jayaram further pointed out that courts had already ruled in his favor.

“The rulings of several High Courts, including Madras HC, have held that an action for defamation by a statement in an FIR will lie only after the FIR case was decided. Our own Hon'ble court has held that lodging of a complaint with police cannot be considered to be a publication of a defamatory statement and that even if the criminal law is set in motion based on an alleged false complaint, then action for malicious complaint can be launched only after disposal of the criminal case wherein a specific finding is given to that effect, ” the organization submitted.

Since EPS said in his suit that the complainant alleged that the incident happened in July 2020 and he lodged a belated complaint before the DVAC in 2021, Jayaram Venkatesan said that he had been lodging so many complaints with the secretary to the highways department and finance department from July 2020 to January 2021.

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