The petitioner alleged that Minister K.T. Rajendra Balaji had declared his assets to be worth Rs. 29.83 lakh while filing nominations, but had recently purchased 34 acres in Virudhunagar district for Rs. 74 lakh.
Tamil Nadu Information Minister K.T. Rajendra Balaji has got some relief with the Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissing a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to conduct a detailed inquiry into a complaint that the Minister had purchased “huge assets” disproportionate to known sources of his income
The petitioner, M. Raja of Anaiyur, Madurai, said Mr. Balaji was elected from the Sivakasi constituency in Virudhunagar district in the 2011 Assembly elections. At the time of filing nominations, he had declared his assets to be worth Rs. 29.83 lakh. Mr. Raja said it had now come to his knowledge that Mr. Balaji had purchased 34 acres in Devadhanam village in Virudhunagar district for Rs. 74 lakh. Also, the registration was done on a Saturday, a holiday, at the Minister’s residence. He preferred a complaint dated June 4 to the DVAC. In its order, the First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan said an elaborate procedure had been prescribed in the DVAC manual for disposal of petitions/complaints. The Advocate-General (AG), A.L. Somayaji, submitted that the complaint was being looked into. It was open to the DVAC to conduct a preliminary inquiry to verify the genuineness of the complaint. As contended by the AG, the petition had been acknowledged on June 7. Since the contents of the complaint required an elaborate exercise as to its truth, the court said it was of the view that the PIL was premature. There was always a presumption that governmental action was reasonable in public interest. It was for the party challenging its validity to show that it wanted reasonablenes. Considering the facts and circumstances, the Bench said that the PIL at this stage was premature.