The Madras High Court on Friday directed the State government to suspend within a week the Justice R. Regupathi Commission of Inquiry, constituted by the AIADMK government in 2011 to probe alleged irregularities in the construction of a new Assembly-cum-Secretariat complex during the DMK regime between 2006 and 2011.
Passing interim orders on a couple of writ petitions filed by DMK president M. Karunanidhi in 2015 challenging the proceedings of the commission, Justice S.M. Subramaniam ordered that all further allotment of funds including perquisites and government facilities to the commission should be stopped till the final disposal of the writ petitions. He said continuance of the commission, without any end in sight, would not serve any purpose.
“If the report is submitted after a lapse of 10 years, further actions or prosecutions, if any, against public servants concerned would be delayed and in some occasions may not be possible at all. That would be the idea of the persons involved in such illegal activities. However, the State as well as the courts can never encourage or pave way for such an escape route for the offenders from the clutches of law,” the judge observed.
He issued a direction to Mr. Regupathi to hand over all records, reports of investigating agencies, statements and evidence collected by the panel so far to the government within two weeks.
On receipt of the documents, the government was directed to scrutinise them and institute criminal prosecution against the public servants as well as government officials involved in the construction of the Secretariat complex if a prima facie case was made out against them. The Assembly complex is now a multi super-specialty hospital.
Further, the State government was directed to review the functioning of all other Commissions of Inquiry in existence and take a decision within four weeks on their continuance.
The government was given the liberty to either dissolve certain commissions if they were found to be unnecessary or fix a time frame for them to submit their reports.
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