Tender case: TN objects to ASG appearing for Velumani

When the matter came before the first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala, state Advocate General R Shunmugasundram took objections to the appearance of Raju representing Velumani.
AIADMK minister SP Velumani
AIADMK minister SP Velumani

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday raised vehement objections to senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju for representing former AIADMK minister SP Velumani in the corporation tender irregularities case filed by Arappor Iyakkam.

When the matter came before the first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala, state Advocate General R Shunmugasundram took objections to the appearance of Raju representing Velumani.

The AG informed the bench that the Income Tax department had recently raided the premises of Velumani’s associates and it was inappropriate for a person who is the ASG for the Union government to appear for the accused in the corruption case.

However, Velumani’s counsel Raju submitted that he was appearing in the case only after getting due permission from the government.

Assailing his submissions, the AG noted that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), which has registered the case against Velumani, would write to the central government to withdraw the permission granted to the ASG for representing the accused.

State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah submitted that the accused during his tenure as the local administration minister had awarded tenders of Chennai and Coimbatore city corporations to companies of his brother and others illegally.

The DVAC further sought time to file additional affidavits regarding the tender irregularities. It is noted that the DVAC filed a counter before the HC stating that it is a prima facie case and prayed for dismissing the petition filed by Velumani to quash the entire case proceedings.

However, Velumani’s advocate noted that the DVAC has filed a fresh FIR without considering the report of the court-appointed officer who gave a clean chit to his counsel. The former minister’s side further argued that the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Arappor regarding the irregularities and the criminal original petition of DMK organising secretary RS Bharathi are jointly heard by the court now. Therefore, the petition filed by Velumani to quash the case proceedings is maintainable and the same could be heard by the division bench.

Recording the submissions, the judges adjourned the matter to September 7.

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