CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday refused to restrain Additional Solicitor General SV Raju from appearing for former local administration minister SP Velumani in a case booked by DVAC on charges of tender violations and illegality in Chennai and Coimbatore corporations’ during the previous AIADMK regime.
Heading the first bench along with Justice N Mala, Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari rejected the arguments of Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram to bar the central government law officer from representing Velumani.
The CJ accepted the submission of Raju that he got the due permission from the Union Government to represent Velumani. According to the CJ MN Bhandari, as long as the ASG has the permission of the Union government to appear for Velumani’s case, there is no bar to him to represent the petitioner.
The bench also dismissed the plea of AG questioning the maintainability of the quash petition filed by Velumani. Though the AG submitted that the quash petition filed by the former minister should be heard by the Special Courts trying MPs and MLAs, the CJ observed that the first court has the jurisdiction to hear the current quash petition by Velumani.
The CJ further adjourned the matter to September 9 for deciding whether the interim stay should be passed against the government to restrain filing of final inquiry report in the case.
Velumani prayed for a direction to quash the two FIRs filed against him on charges of awarding tenders to his associates and family members. The petitioner submitted that the court already appointed a special officer - R Ponni, Superintendent of Police, DVAC to conduct a probe in this case. The court-appointed officer gave a clean chit to him. Subsequently, the AIADMK government accepted the report of the DVAC officer and closed the report. However, the DVAC again reopened the case after the DMK came to power on May 7, 2021.