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Thursday, September 16, 2021

DVAC sleuths raid 52 places including former TN minister SP Velumani’s residence

The former AIADMK minister Velumani allegedly misused his position as the minister of municipal administration and favoured his close associates, including his brother, in the tender process of construction works.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
Updated: August 11, 2021 12:18:50 pm
Raid at former Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar's house on July 22, 2021. (File Photo)

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) police on Tuesday launched searches at 52 places including the residence of former Tamil Nadu municipal administration minister SP Velumani in connection with a corruption case against him.

According to reports, close to 35 places have been raided in Coimbatore in areas like Thondamuthur, Vadavalli, etc and 15 places in Chennai and one place apiece in Dindigul and Kancheepuram. The officials reached Velumani’s Chennai residence at around 7 am and hundreds of supporters gathered outside as the searches began.

The DVAC sleuths have registered a case against the former minister based on a 2018 petition by Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi and V Jayaraman, the convenor of Arappor Iyakkam, a non-governmental organisation. A total of 17 members have been named in the FIR including Velumani, his brother P Anbarasan.

According to the FIR, the former AIADMK minister Velumani misused his position as the minister of municipal administration and favoured his close associates, including his brother, in the tender process of construction works. “During the year 2014-2018, the total worth of tenders allotted to his closely associated companies is approx Rs 464.02 crores in Greater Chennai Corporation and approx Rs 346.81 crores in Coimbatore Municipal Corporation,” the FIR added.

It must be noted that on July 20, the Tamil Nadu Government informed the Madras High Court that it may reopen the probe into corruption allegations against Velumani and register an FIR. Advocate-general R Shanmugasaundaram told the first bench of Sanjiv Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy that the DVAC had closed the complaints against him without interrogating certain officials.

The court was hearing a PIL from Arappor Iyakkam which alleged irregularities to the tune of several crores of rupees in the allotment of contract works for the two civic bodies and appealed for the formation of a special investigation team to probe the charges.

On Monday, R Thiruvengadam from Coimbatore also lodged a complaint against Velumani for allegedly cheating Rs 1.25 crore promising a government contract.

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