Opposes PIL petitioners’ plea for transfer of investigation

The district police here have so far registered 15 cases, arrested 37 accused, sealed eight buildings and seized Rs. 17.17 lakh besides seven hard disks, a Central Processing Unit, 66 compact discs, two revolvers, two buses, two cars, three cranes, two trucks with same registration number, 50 trailers and huge volume of incriminating documents in connection with the ongoing enquiry into the granite scam, Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan has said.

Filing a status report in the Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday through Advocate General A. Navaneethakrishnan, the SP said that out of the 15 cases, 11 were registered in the Keelavalavu police station, two in Melur and the rest in Othakadai police station.

A Deputy Superintendent of Police had been nominated as the chief investigation officer of a team comprising four Inspectors.

The new team was preceded by 20 special teams under the leadership of Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors of Police.

The earlier teams had seized documents relating to illegal business transactions, illegal occupation of revenue lands and illegal quarrying.

In order to prevent transfer of funds from the bank accounts maintained by the accused, requisitions had been made to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as well as branches of all major nationalised and private banks in Melur to freeze the accounts.

A specific request has been made to seize the accounts maintained by the accused in other locations too.

A requisition had also been made to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Bureau of Immigration, Chennai, to issue a look out circular with respect to 12 individuals including P. R. Palanichamy’s sons P. Suresh Kumar and P. Senthil Kumar, Union Minister M. K. Alagiri’s son Dayanithi Alagiri alias Durai, P. K. Selvaraj of Sindhu Granites, Panneer Mohamed of M. R. Granites and Mohamed Ibrahim Sait of Sait Granites to prevent them from escaping to foreign countries.

A communication had been sent to the chairmen of Chennai and Tuticorin Ports to withhold export of cargo by 10 companies, including PRP Granites, PRP Exports, Madurai Granites, Olympus Granites, Sri Om Sri Granites, Deepa Impex, P. S. Granites, Sindhu Granites, Kumar Granites and Sait Granites. Further, a letter had been written to the Registrar of Companies in Chennai seeking details of the registered partners of the companies and the dates of their registration.

The SP stated: “The investigation is being done with the coordination of other departments such as Revenue, Mines and Minerals and Commercial Tax under my direct supervision. I am monitoring the day-to-day activities with regard to the investigation and also reporting the progress to the Office of Director General of Police periodically.

The investigation is proceeding in a fair and efficient manner and there is no necessity to transfer the cases to other agencies (such as CBI).”

In a separate report, Collector Anshul Mishra reiterated the information submitted by him before the court on August 17 and said that PRP Exports had violated Local Planning Authority norms also by constructing various buildings spread over 1.75 lakh square metres at Therkutheru near here as against the approval granted for only 16,555 square metres. The LPA authorities had issued a notice to the private concern on July 25 for violations of building permission.

“The district administration is taking all necessary steps to unearth the irregularities committed by the granite licence holders by gearing up the official machinery and status report is being sent to the Chief Secretary to the Government… on almost daily basis and the whole exercise is being carried out in a professional manner and with complete transparency,” the Collector said and sought to dismiss public interest litigation petitions seeking a CBI probe into the issue.

A Division Bench comprising Justice P. P. S. Janarthana Raja and Justice M. Vijayaraghavan adjourned the hearing of the cases to August 31 in order to give time to the petitioners’ counsel to submit their replies to the status reports filed by the officials.

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