Searches conducted on their premises

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on Friday conducted simultaneous searches on the premises of the Chairman and Members of the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), after registering a corruption case against them following alleged irregularities in recruitment of candidates to various posts.

Documents such as original answer-sheets, unofficial list of selected candidates, recommendation letters, names and hall ticket numbers of certain applicants and so on were found during the searches that commenced early on Friday. Unaccounted cash of several lakhs of rupees and 28 liquor bottles were seized from the house of a Member, agency sources said.

During the search in the house of one of the members G. Shanmuga Murugan, police seized Rs. 26.3 lakh in cash. Even as the search was on, Mr. Murugan's brother and former Inspector General of Police G. Durairaj allegedly threw two plastic bags containing Rs. 17 lakh in cash to the neighbouring compound. He then scaled the compound wall and jumped to the other side. A couple of DVAC personnel who saw this followed him and recovered the plastic bags, the sources said.

The allegation is that the TNPSC Chairman R. Sellamuthu and other Members resorted to certain irregularities which were objected to by the Secretary, T. Udhayachandran, an IAS officer. When he wanted to peruse the answer-sheets of candidates selected in a particular recruitment process, they refused to part with them.

Since the Secretary did not cooperate, the full Commission allegedly passed a resolution not to allot work or circulate any file to him. Though, by convention, the TNPSC Secretary signs all files pertaining to recruitment and officially publishes results, the practice was set aside in recent months. A couple of months ago, Mr. Udayachandran lodged a complaint with the Chief Secretary. Detailing the specific allegations, a DVAC official said the persons now accused demanded the selected list of candidates in the recruitment of Assistant Dental Surgeons and attempted to commit criminal misconduct. They prevented an enquiry into the alleged recruitment of ineligible candidates to the post of Motor Vehicles Inspectors Grade-II. The Chairman and Members prevented the Secretary of the TNPSC from discharging his duties when he wanted to ensure that there is no scope for corruption in the recruitment of positions under the Group-I category. When the DVAC commenced an enquiry into the allegations of corruption and wanted certain documents, the accused persons refused to give these to them.

Besides the TNPSC office on Greams Road, searches were conducted on the residence of the Chairman Mr. Sellamuthu in Padi, Members M. Ramasamy in Puzhuthivakkam, T. Sankaralingam, K. Lakshmanan and S. Xavier Jesu Raja in Kilpauk, M. Shobini in Korattur, K.M. Ravi in Royapettah, G. Shanmuga Murugan in Adyar, K.K. Raaja in Royapettah, S. Panneerselvam in Tiruchi, V. Rathnasabapathy in Government Estate, Perumalsamy in Mogappair, T. Kuppusamy in Gopalapuram, and G. Selvamani in Nandanam, a DVAC source added.