Sleuths of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) have registered two separate cases against two serving IAS officers, N. Mathivanan and C. Kamaraj, former Madurai Collectors, in the multi-crore granite scam in the district.
Officials of the Departments of Revenue and Mines and Public Works, who had previously worked in Madurai district, were also booked. The cases were registered under specific provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and the IPC.
The agency conducted simultaneous searches on the premises of the accused in 10 districts. The involvement of several other serving/retired government officials and private individuals was being investigated.
The IAS officers have been charged with conspiring with officials of other Departments and abusing their official position with mala fide intention, concealing facts pertaining to large-scale illegal quarrying, falsifying records, causing a wrongful loss worth several crores to the government and helping quarry operators make a wrongful gain.
The first case was registered against Mathivanan (Director, Department of Sugar, Chennai); Rajaram, Deputy Director, Mines (Nagercoil), and formerly Deputy Director, Mines, in Madurai district; Commercial Taxes Officer in Melur P. Periyasamy; Superintendent, Central Excise Department, Ganesan, and P.R. Palanichamy of PRP Exports.
The second case was registered against Kamaraj, (Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Salt Corporation, Chennai) and Rajaram, former Melur Tahsildar; V. Subbu (Special Deputy Tahsildar, Social Security Scheme, Sivaganga); former Assistant Executive Engineer, PWD, Melur, R. Ramachandran, (Executive Engineer, PWD, Paramakudi), and other private quarry operators. The charge against Mr. Kamaraj and other officers is that despite being aware of the large-scale irregularities in granite quarrying, they prepared false reports with mala fide intention.
“Mr. Kamaraj, the then Collector, knowingly and wilfully suppressed the material factors in the reports given by his other subordinates that there were visible symptoms of illegal mining and sent a blatantly false report to the Government stating that there was no encroachment or illegal quarrying in the kanmois/tanks,” a DVAC statement said.
A top official of the DVAC said: “It was visible that the waterbodies were encroached upon for... quarrying. We have materials to prove that the officials created false records to suppress the truth. Their participation in the scam by way of favouring PRP Granites and Exports is clear… there is criminal intent on the part of these accused persons.”