The Madras High Court, on Friday, was informed by an anti-graft body that a preliminary inquiry on DMK's complaint of corruption against Chief Minister Palaniswami has already begun.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan made the submission on behalf of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption or DVAC when the plea came up before Justice AD Jagadish Chandira.
"We received the complaint on June 22. Immediately a preliminary inquiry has been commenced and the investigation is going on," Vijay Narayan said.
Senior counsel for DMK NR Elango submitted that as per the directions of the Supreme Court such preliminary probe should be completed within seven days and in case of the DVAC, it should be completed by two months.
By August 22, the two-month period has expired, he added.
Concurring with the submission, the judge asked the advocate general as to why the DVAC has not completed the inquiry in two months.
At least a case must have been registered by now, the judge said and directed the DVAC to file its counter by September 4.
Petitioner RS Bharathi, the organising secretary of the DMK, alleged the chief minister, who also holds the highways and road portfolios, abused his power to allocate five highway laying and maintenance projects worth over Rs 3,500 crore to firms owned by his relatives and benamis.
He claimed that most of the projects were funded by the World Bank.
"Palaniswami, being a government servant, entered into a criminal conspiracy with his relatives and benamis and thereby committed criminal misconduct and obtained undue pecuniary advantage for himself."
"These offences attract punishment under the lndian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act," Mr Bharathi submitted.
He submitted that no action was taken by the DVAC despite a complaint lodged on June 13 against Mr Palaniswami. He wanted the court to direct the agency to register a case and commence preliminary probe immediately.