The gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu

Home Ministry calls for report on gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu

DVAC also writes to I-T department seeking copies of documents.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has reportedly called for a report on the gutkha scam that rocked the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday. The issue is expected to come up at a meeting convened by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in New Delhi on Thursday to approve the panel of names of senior IPS officers from the State for appointment as Director-General of Police/Head of the Force.

A day after The Hindu exposed the multi-crore scam in which a State minister and top police officers allegedly received huge bribes for allowing the manufacture/sale of the banned gutkha in Chennai city, the MHA called for a copy of the Income Tax report that was sent to the Chief Secretary in August, 2016, police sources said on Wednesday.

Meeting today

With the incumbent DGP T.K. Rajendran due to retire from service on June 30, the State had sent a panel of names of senior IPS officers for the approval of the UPSC for appointment as DGP/head of the Force. “Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary is likely to attend the meeting in New Delhi on Thursday where the panel of officers eligible for appointment as DGP/Head of the Force will be approved,” a senior State official said.

In a related development, the DVAC has formally written to the Income Tax department seeking copies of documents seized on the premises of MDM brand of gutkha in Chennai on July 8, 2016. The agency is investigating a letter sent by the then Commissioner of Police S. George to the Home Secretary in December last year stating that he received intelligence inputs regarding the illegal sale of banned products of gutkha in Chennai city.

In the letter, Mr. George said information had been received that the illegal activities relating to the sale/manufacture/transport/distribution of gutkha were done “due to the active connivance of certain police officers of various ranks who had served or were serving in Chennai Police. There are also allegations that there is connivance at senior levels.”

The State government referred the letter of Mr. George to the DVAC which launched a preliminary enquiry.

“We have written to the Investigation Wing of the Income Tax department to share a copy of the report sent to the State government on the seizures and alleged involvement of a State minister and senior officials. We will register a case if prima facie evidence of corruption is established,” a DVAC official said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 10:42:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/mha-calls-for-report-on-gutkha-scam-in-tamil-nadu/article19166443.ece

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