Gutkha scam | Former Ministers B.V. Ramana, C. Vijayabaskar and ex-DGPs to be prosecuted

The Tamil Nadu government accords sanction to the CBI to go ahead in the case

Updated - July 24, 2022 12:41 pm IST

Published - July 23, 2022 03:32 pm IST - CHENNAI:

The gutkha scam was first exposed byThe Hindu in June 2017.

The gutkha scam was first exposed byThe Hindu in June 2017.

The Tamil Nadu government has accorded sanction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute former Ministers B.V. Ramana and C. Vijayabaskar, retired Directors-General of Police S. George and T.K. Rajendran and seven others in what has now come to be called the gutkha scam

According to official sources, the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (III), New Delhi, had sent a proposal to the State government seeking sanction to prosecute Ramana alias B. Venkatramana, the then Minister of Commercial Taxes; V.S. Kurinjiselvan, the then Deputy Commissioner, Enforcement, Commercial Tax Department, Chennai; S. Ganesan, the then Deputy Commercial Tax Officer, Chennai; C. Vijayabaskar, the then Minister of Health; Lakshmi Narayanan, the then Designated Officer, Food Safety Department, Chennai; P. Murugan, the then Food Safety Officer, Gummudipopondi Block, Tiruvallur; S. George, the then Commissioner of Police, Chennai; T.K. Rajendran, the then Commissioner of Police, Chennai; R. Mannar Mannan, the then Assistant Commissioner of Police, Puzhal Range, Chennai; V. Sampath, the then Inspector of Police, Red Hills, Chennai, and A. Palani, the then Councillor/Chairman of the Health Committee, Chennai Corporation, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. 

Also read: Ramnath Goenka award for The Hindu journalist

The investigating agency forwarded its report to the designated court on the collection of illegal gratification from suppliers of maava/gutkha involving the accused. When his opinion was sought by the State government, the Public Prosecutor said it was a fit case to accord sanction of prosecution against Mr. Ramana and 10 others since the material available on record disclosed a prima facie case to launch prosecution.  

Since the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, was the competent authority to accord sanction of prosecution on the retired IPS officers, it was decided to refer the case to the Union government to give sanction under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The gutkha scam, first exposed byThe Hindu in June 2017, pertains to the alleged involvement of the former Ministers, former IPS officers and other officials in the Tamil Nadu police, Greater Chennai Corporation, Food Safety Department, Commercial Taxes wing etc. in taking bribes to the tune of ₹39.91 crore for facilitating the storage, transportation and sale of the banned commodity in Chennai city.

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