CETP tragedy: TNPCB officials bail plea dismissed

The Principal District and Sessions Judge (PDJ), R.V.R. Deenadayalan, on Saturday dismissed the bail plea of suspended Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board officials P. Kamaraj, former District Environmental Engineer, Vellore and M. Muralidharan, former Assistant Environmental Engineer, Vellore.

The two were arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 on charges of having accepted bribe from the management of the Ranipet SIDCO Finished Leather Effluent Treatment Company Limited (RSFLETCL) which is running the Phase-I Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) in the SIDCO Industrial Estate in Ranipet for refraining from taking action against the management for the irregularities committed by it, which included unauthorised construction of the Secure Land Fill (SLF) within the premises of the CETP. Their arrest was a sequel to the arrest of the Managing Director and other functionaries of RSFLETCL in the wake of the death by drowning of 10 workers sleeping in an adjoining tannery when the wall of the SLF containing the toxic slurry in the CETP collapsed resulting in the flooding of the adjoining tannery with the slurry on January 31.

When the bail plea came up before the PDJ on Saturday, the Crime Branch CID, represented by Public Prosecutor T. Rajasekhar strongly opposed the plea on the grounds that if let on bail, the two accused were likely to tamper with the documents and the witnesses.

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