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Highway tender scam: Relief for former TN CM Palaniswami as SC rejects state DVAC plea for fresh probe


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The state DVAC had moved the apex court challenging the Madras High Court's order dismissing the petition filed in 2018 by DMK member RS Bharathi seeking a probe against Palaniswami. NEW DELHI: In a major relief to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, the Supreme Court in its order on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by the State Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) seeking directions for a fresh probe against him in connection with the highway tender scam.

A two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Bela M Trivedi and also comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, passed the order on Friday on an appeal filed by the state DVAC. The state DVAC had moved the apex court challenging the Madras High Court's order dismissing the petition filed in 2018 by DMK member RS Bharathi seeking a probe against Palaniswami. Upholding the Madras High Court order, the apex court said, "We will not interfere with the order. It is absolutely perfect."

The Madras HC in its earlier order had rejected the plea for a probe into the alleged irregularities in the award of tenders for state highway projects. Bharathi had alleged in the petition that Palaniswami was involved in corruption and caused the state exchequer a loss of around Rs 4,000 crores. Dushyant Dave, senior lawyer appearing for the DVAC, said that the High Court's findings had many errors. "Change in the government allows us to investigate afresh. Does the law not permit further investigations? This is a serious case of corruption and a fresh probe must be permitted," Dave said. He further argued before the top court that the High Court was not allowing a fresh probe to be initiated. He urged the SC to pass appropriate directions in this regard. The apex court, however, did not find any merit in the submissions of Dave and dismissed the DVAC's plea. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)