Why is TN govt hesitating to order CBI probe into granite scam, asks Anbumani

CHENNAI: PMK youth wing president and Dharmapuri MP Anbumani Ramadoss on Monday asked why the Tamil Nadu government is hesitating to order an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the granite scam even after a commission headed by IAS officer U Sagayam submitted its report two years ago recommending a CBI probe.

In a statement, Anbumani accused the Tamil Nadu government of attempting to protect people and private firms and others accused of plundering the natural resources worth several thousand crores of rupees.

“The Sagayam commission submitted its report and recommendations to the Madras high court on November 23, 2015, after undertaking a probe for about one year. The commission recommended constituting a multi-disciplinary special investigation team under the CBI to probe the scam and compute the exact loss to the state exchequer due to the scam,” said Anbumani.

The PMK leader claimed that the commission computed the loss to the state exchequer to Rs 1.12 lakh crore. He claimed that the private mining firms, which are close to the DMK and the AIADMK functionaries, had caused a loss of Rs 62,890.91 crore to the state while the irregularities in the Tamil Nadu Minerals Ltd (Tamin) caused a loss of Rs 5,507.53 crore to the state.

“The penalty, which was not collected from the private firms, amounted to Rs 34,304.13 crore. The penalty to be collected from Tamin amounted to 9,978.99 crore. To sum up, the loss to the state has been computed to Rs 1,12,681.56 crore. Sagayam said the commission made a rough calculation and sought the high court to order a CBI probe to compute the exact loss to the state,” Anbumani said.

He charged that the government launched efforts to wind up the commission on September 14. He took strong exception to the government’s proposal to wind up the commission before the CBI commences a thorough probe into the entire episode. He urged the government to extend the tenure of the commission to probe irregularities in granite mining in other parts of the state including Krishnagiri, Pudukottai and Trichy districts.

“The government must order a CBI inquiry into the granite scam immediately,” he said.

Anbumani said the Melur court has not taken up more than 180 cases filed against private firms on charges of corruption and regretted that the court did not take up 98 of them with severe criminal charges despite a direction from the high court.

The lower court not only acquitted the accused in two of the cases but also ordered action against the then Madurai collector Anshul Mishra on charges of failing ‘false cases’.

“The government has been delaying to file an appeal against the lower court’s order in the Madurai bench of the Madras high court citing some reason or other,” Anbumani said.


Source: Bosco Dominique | TNN |

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