Madurai: The Madras High Court has said the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption could conduct inquiry into complaints, if cognisable offence has been made out, against All India Service Officers, Heads of Departments and Collectors, without simply forwarding it to the Chief Secretary for necessary action as per its manual.
As per a Supreme Court ruling, a DVAC official, who receives the complaint wherein cognizable offence has been made out, can hold an inquiry and then forward it to the chief secretary for further action, the court’s Madurai Bench observed.
The apex court’s direction could not be ignored on the ground of administrative instruction or manual. “If the officials followed the manual instead of supreme court direction… it is not legal,” it said.
DVAC officials should follow the apex court ruling and not the DVAC manual, a division bench of Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice M V Muralidharan said in its ruling yesterday.
They said “the law on the issue as to whether a DVAC police officer who received a complaint making out cognisable offence could hold an inquiry or not is well settled by the supreme court in its decision in 2013,” so DVAC officials should follow it dutifully.
The court was hearing a PIL by one R Nagarajan who said he had given a complaint against the Tamil Nadu Housing board officials stating that they had constructed flats in Madurai without obtaining building approval.
Nagarajan alleged that officials allowed the construction on receipt of illegal gratification from the builder.
However, in his counter affidavit, K. Esakki Ananthan, Dy.SP, Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, Madurai, said the petitioner had levelled allegations against the then TNHB Managing Director who was an IAS officer and many other officials.