Tamil Nadu

Former T.N. Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan booked on corruption charges, ₹2.82 crore seized

K.P.Anbalagan

K.P.Anbalagan

Alleging that former Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan and his family members amassed wealth to the tune of ₹11.32 crore disproportionate to the known sources of their income between May 2016 and March 2021, sleuths of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) on Thursday conducted searches on multiple premises belonging to them.

The agency claimed it had detected unaccounted-for cash of ₹2.82 crore, valuables and other incriminating documents.

 

The searches followed an FIR registered by the DVAC against Mr. Anbalagan, his wife A. Malliga, 55, sons A. Sasimohan, 29, A. Chandra Mohan, 32, and Chandra Mohan’s wife S. Vaishnavee, 32.

While the AIADMK leader was booked under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, his family members were booked on charges of aiding and abetting in the corruption of his public office.

According to the FIR, there was intentional, illicit personal enrichment, acquisition of properties and pecuniary resources in his name and in the names of relatives during the period overlapping with his ministerial tenure. The DVAC had arrived at the quantum of disproportionate acquisition of assets based on the affidavits filed by Mr. Anbalagan in the run-up to the 2016 and 2021 Assembly elections, and also based on “information received from credible sources”. His affidavit in 2016 reported a consolidated asset ownership of ₹1.60 crore. In April 2021, his affidavit reported a manifold jump in asset ownership to ₹23.03 crore.

The DVAC, with the declared information, computed the quantum of acquisitions vis-à-vis known sources of income, savings, and expenditure, and “likely savings” during the ‘check period’ of its enquiry, namely April 2016 to March 2021, and arrived at a disproportionate asset acquisition of over ₹11.32 crore by Mr. Anbalagan.

This aside, the DVAC’s enquiry revealed Mr. Anbalagan’s other undisclosed properties/businesses run under various names. These include various stone quarries in Dharmapuri in the names of his son-in-law, a brother-in-law, and a close associate; and a granite firm by name M/s Ganesh Granite, located at Avvai Shanmugam Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai incorporated under the name of his niece and her husband(sister’s daughter Deepa and son-in-law N.Sivakumar). Sivakumar is also 80% holding partner in another granite firm in Karimnagar district of Telangana.

In a separate statement, the DVAC cited a petition filed by a N. Krishnamoorthy before the Madras High Court seeing a direction to the anti-corruption agency to investigate his earlier petition to the DVAC alleging amassment of wealth by Mr. Anbalagan. Simultaneously, the DVAC was conducting its own enquiry and based on the information collected, a case was registered.

In Dharmapuri, besides Mr. Anbalagan’s house at Keragondahalli in Karimangalam, the house of the sitting AIADMK MLA of Paapireddipatti A. Govindasamy was raided.

After day-long searches in 57 locations in Tamil Nadu (Dharmapuri-53, Salem-1, Chennai-3) and 1 in Telangana, the DVAC declared discovery of ₹2,87,98,650 crore in unaccounted-for cash, 6.637 kg of gold ornaments, 13.85 kg of silver articles, and other incriminating documents along with a bank locker key.

However, when contacted, Mr. Anbalagan denied any such seizure of cash.

Thursday’s searches in the properties of Mr. Anbalagan is the sixth such high-profile action carried out in the recent months against former AIADMK Ministers on corruption charges.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 4:39:10 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/former-tn-higher-education-minister-kpanbalagan-booked-on-corruption-charges/article38295711.ece