PIL on TN minister Rajenthra Bhalaji’s assets: Madras high court passes split verdict


PIL on TN minister Rajenthra Bhalaji’s assets: Madras high court passes split verdict

Rajenthra Bhalaji
CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Thursday passed a split verdict on a seven-year-old public interest litigation that sought registration of an FIR against Tamil Nadu dairy minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji for alleged amassment of wealth disproportionate to his income, ever since he held the post of the vice-president of Tiruthangal town panchayat in Virudhunagar district in 1996.
While Justice M Sathyanarayanan directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to register an FIR against the minister, Justice R Hemalatha differed and said she did not find any prima facie case made out against the minister warranting registration of an FIR.


“Any further action in this case would not serve any useful purpose and it would be only like flogging a dead horse,” she said and dismissed the PIL.
In view of the dissenting order passed by Justice Hemalatha, Justice Sathyanarayanan has now forwarded the PIL to the Chief Justice for suitable action.
R Mahendran moved the PIL in 2013 accusing the minister of having declared that he had no known sources of income and that he was not even an income tax assessee, when he contested the assembly elections in 2011.
On the contrary, in the same declaration, the minister claimed to be in possession of several movable and immovable assets, the petitioner alleged.
Therefore, he wanted the court to direct the DVAC to register an FIR against the minister and probe the case.
When the plea came up for hearing, the DVAC submitted a 754-page ‘preliminary inquiry’ report and gave a clean chit to the minister.

Taken aback by the detailed inquiry conducted by the DVAC when the object was only to make a preliminary inquiry to ascertain as to whether any cognizable offence had been made out in the complaint or not, the bench refused to close the plea.

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