Madras High Court judge appreciates Arappor Iyakkam for filing corruption complaints with voluminous materials

Jayaram Venkatesan of Arappor Iyakkam. File

Justice A. D. Jagadish Chandira of the Madras High Court on November 15 appreciated anti-corruption organisation Arappor Iyakkam led by Jayaram Venkatesan, for having earned the reputation of filing police complaints against public servants only after collecting voluminous materials against them.

The judge appreciated the non-governmental organisation when its counsel V. Suresh sought time to file a petition regarding a complaint made by it in 2018 against the then Food Minister R. Kamaraj of the AIADMK accusing him of corruption in the procurement of essential commodities.

“Whenever Arappor Iyakkam makes a complaint, they always make it with full details,” the judge said and granted time till November 22 for the filing of the petition seeking a direction to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to expedite the inquiry and complete it within a time frame.

The judge also directed the High Court Registry to tag the NGO’s petition along with a similar petition that had already been filed by another complainant Va. Pugalendhi, a former AIADMK member, accusing the DVAC of inordinate delay in completing the inquiry into his complaint.

State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah said, the DVAC had received multiple complaints related to the issue and had initially conducted a preliminary inquiry. Thereafter, a detailed inquiry was taken up in 2022 as per the DVAC manual and voluminous documents were being verified since then.

“Documents running to more than 24,000 pages related to 48 public tenders had to be examined and therefore, the DVAC required some more time to conclude the detailed inquiry,” he said. The SPP told the court that every effort was being taken to complete the inquiry as expeditiously as possible.

When the counsel for Mr. Pugalendhi complained that his client’s statement had not been recorded so far, the SPP said, there was no need to record the statement of the complainant during the course of detailed inquiry because its purpose was only to find out the existence of a prima facie case.

After hearing all sides, the judge decided to take a call on the matter on November 22 after the DVAC files a combined status report on the two petitions seeking expeditious inquiry into the complaints.

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