The Madras High Court has turned down a plea by a former personal assistant to ex-Agriculture Minister, who also later became the Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, to forbear the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) from conducting any enquiry based on a letter by the directorate to the university Registrar.

The petitioner, P .Murugesa Boopathi, joined the Agriculture Department in 1972 and he later became a Professor of the agricultural university. He served as technical personal assistant to the Agriculture Minister and after attaining superannuation in August 2010, he was appointed the university’s Vice-Chancellor. While so, the Inspector, DVAC, started sending summons to various persons seeking certain details with respect to the petitioner’s property from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2009.

The immediate provocation for filing the writ petition was a letter by the Inspector to the university Registrar calling upon him to furnish a complete statement of movable and immovable property held or acquired by Dr.Boopathi and his family members.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that the government and the directorate were indulging in malicious acts to tarnish his name. Earlier proceedings also related to the very same period and as such the directorate could not initiate proceedings once again for the said period.

The directorate justified the impugned letter.

Dismissing the petition, Justice K.K. Sasidharan said there was nothing on record to show that the enquiry had been initiated with ulterior motives.

“Mere apprehension would not give a right to file a writ petition of this nature.” The mandamus is essentially a command. The petitioner should demonstrate that he had got a right to issue this prerogative writ.

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