Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Monday sought Governor Surjit Singh Barnala's sanction to prosecute Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on the issue of allotment of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board's house sites and residential flats.
In his petition to the Governor, Dr. Swamy argued for the cancellation of allotments and contended that the allotments, made in exercise of discretionary power, were contrary to law and amounted to “gross misuse and abuse of the powers” vested in the public authorities.
[The State government has already announced, in the Governor's address to the Assembly last month, the abolition of the scheme of government discretionary quota (GDQ) in allotment of plots or houses of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board.]
Referring to a series of Supreme Court judgments, including one in the petrol pump allotment case (1996), the petition termed as unjust the distribution of State largesse by the authorities in the guise of “exercise of discretion” in an arbitrary, unreasonable and mala fide manner without following the basic rules and regulations that governed the allotment of a house site or a residential flat belonging to the government/TNHB.
Referring to allotments made to civil servant G. Prakash, police officer Jaffar Sait, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S. Arumugam's daughter-in-law Brindha Nedunchezhiyan and former Member of Parliament L. Ganesan, besides family members of senior officials in the Chief Minister's office, the Janata Party chief argued that those who were allotted plots were ineligible and the exercise of “discretionary power” was meant for and intended only in favour of the poor, not for the affluent and politically well-connected persons.
Alleging that the Chief Minister had committed offences punishable under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, he sought sanction to prosecute Mr. Karunanidhi under sections 11 [Public servant obtaining valuable thing, without consideration from person concerned in proceeding or business transacted by such public servant] and 13 [criminal misconduct by a public servant] of the Act. Dr. Swamy, who demanded the resignation of Mr. Karunanidhi, presented the petition to the Governor's ADC. He said that he could not meet the Governor, as Mr. Barnala was not well.
He said the petition on the GDQ was the first to be filed by him. He had several more cases against Mr. Karunanidhi, for each of which the Governor's sanction was required.