The Madras High Court bench here on Wednesday ordered notice to the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, the Commissioner of Municipal Administration and Tiruchi Corporation Commissioner on a public interest litigation filed alleging that several crores of public money paid towards property tax were swindled by officials in the Tiruchi Corporation.

The petitioner, C.Raman, claimed that the officials in the Tiruchi Corporation tampered with the computer software used to assess property tax.

According to Mr.Raman, the State Government had computerised the records of the municipal administration in Tamil Nadu in 2002 and introduced the Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (TNUDP), a software to assess the taxes payable to the municipalities and corporations all over the State.

The Secretary of the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply and the Commissioner of Municipal Administration conducted periodic meetings to review the functioning of the software, claimed the petitioner.

He further claimed that the municipalities and the city corporations were not permitted to change the software without the approval of the higher authorities.

In his petition, Mr.Rajan alleged that a few officials in the Tiruchi Corporation entered into an agreement with a private firm in 2009 and changed the software without the knowledge of the higher authorities. The assessment made by the original software was tampered with by manipulating, the petitioner added.

He further claimed that unauthorised persons were posted in the revenue section and permitted to manipulate property tax records.

By installing unauthorised private software in the revenue section a few officials have swindled several crores of public tax, he alleged. The petitioner claimed that he submitted a petition on July 13, 2013 to the Secretary and the Commissioner of Municipal Administration and the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to order an inquiry and initiate legal action against the officials who indulged in the unlawful act. He moved the court because no action was initiated, he added.

A division bench comprising Justices S.Rajeswaran and T.Mathivanan ordered the notice and adjourned the case by two weeks.

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