In a major set back to opposition party ADMK , The as promised in its poll manifesto DMK party led Tamil Nadu government has given sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute 11 people, including former Ministers
Gutkha scam happened during the period 2014-2020 where former ADMK Ministers C. Vijayabaskar and B.V.Ramana, and retired top IPS police officers and Top Food Safety department officials in the infamous that rocked the Tamilnadu state
Following a proposal sent by the CBI Anti-corruption Unit, New Delhi to State ., Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Iraianbu accepted the same and given clearance.
Considering there was a prima facie case for initiate prosecution proceedings against them based on materials available on record, the state government accorded sanction to prosecute those involved in the scam under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
While Ramana had served as the Commercial Taxes Minister, Vijayabaskar was the Health Minister when the scam came to light in 2017 after the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016.
Among those who will face prosecution included IPS officers inclusive of retired DGP S.George and T.K. Rajendran who have also served as Chennai City Police Commissioners.
The case pertained to a secret report sent by the Income Tax Department to the then Chief Secretary P.S.Rama Mohana Rao and Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar in 2016 containing details of alleged payment of bribes to the tune of Rs 39.91 crore by a gutkha manufacturer to a Minister, two top police officers and other officials to allow unhindered sale of the banned tobacco products in Chennai city.
The scam triggered widespread protests from the Opposition parties, including the DMK which demanded a CBI probe, which was subsequently ordered by the Madras High Court on a plea filed by former DMK MLA J.Anbazhagan.
Even as Rajendran was alleged to have received bribes, he was given a two year extension and was also appointed as DGP by then ADMK parry led state CM Mr. Palanisamy
The Court ordered appointment of a Vigilance Commissioner and directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to probe into the missing files after the Chief Secretary filed a petition that no report was received from the Income Tax department.
After Jayalalithaa’s death, Rama Mohana Rao was removed from the post of Chief Secretary on December 22, 2016, a day after Income-Tax raids at his residence and office premises in the city in connection with a tax evasion probe post demonetisation.
During the raids, IT officials had reportedly seized Rs 136 crore in old and new currency notes and gold worth Rs 177 crore from Rao and his brother Srinivasalu in Chennai and Vellore.
After keeping him on “wait list” for three months, the ADMK party led State government had on March 31, 2017 gave him posting and appointed Rama Mohana Rao as the Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Chennai.
Later, Rama Mohana Rao, during the course of an interview confirmed the receipt of report from the IT department and that it was sent to former CM Jayalalithaa who wanted to take action based on the report.
The Income Tax department in a surprise raid had seized the secret report from Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence Veda Nilayam.