Officers of the directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) on Tuesday carried out a raid on the residence of IAS officer S Malarvizhi in Chennai. The senior IAS officer is accused of swindling public funds by printing tax receipt books via personal printers at exorbitant costs and excessive amount which may final one other 15 years. Malarvizhi is presently vice-chairperson of Science Metropolis in Chennai.
The cost pertains to the interval when she was the district collector of Dharmapuri from February 2018 to October 2020 through the earlier AIADMK regime in Tamil Nadu.
An FIR was filed in opposition to the IAS officer on June 5 below the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on the cost of printing receipts whole of 125,500 receipt books (of home tax, skilled tax, water tax and miscellaneous tax) value ₹1.8 crore which had been provided to 251 Panchayats. The DVAC has accused her of misappropriating ₹1.3 crore within the matter.
“That is the primary time within the final 15 years in Tamil Nadu an IAS officer has been named in a corruption case,” says Jayaram Venkatesan, founding father of anti-corruption motion, Arappor Iyakkam in Chennai. “The important thing right here is the nexus between politicians and IAS officers which permits such irregularities and corruption at a number of ranges so this FIR is a welcome transfer to start to start out cracking down on that.”
Whereas the IAS officer has been named as accused number one (A1), two people (Thageer Hussain, Proprietor of Crescent Merchants and Veeraiah Palanivelu, Proprietor, Naga Merchants) who ran printing operations privately are named as the opposite two accused (A2, A3).
There’s “no documentary proof” to the IAS officer’s declare throughout a assessment assembly in Dharmapuri November 2019 that she had acquired an instruction from the director of rural growth and panchayat raj to buy these tax books from personal establishments, the DVAC has discovered.
The general public servant entered right into a “legal conspiracy” with A-2 and A-3 with the “dishonest intention to commit fraud on the funds of the federal government’’ by voluntarily procuring the 125,500 numbers of tax receipts to the tune of ₹18,197,500, the DVAC’s FIR states. “It’s additional gathered that every one the village Panchayats had been provided with the receipt books bought from A-2 and A-3,” the company says, including that the violations got here to mild through the assortment of sources.
In February 2020, A2 provided 61,000 tax receipt books whereas A3 provided the remaining 64,500 books to numerous panchayats unions in Dharmapuri district. “However no work orders had been issued to them by A-1,” the FIR says. “A-1 had sanctioned ₹18,197,500 and paid the web quantity of ₹17,469,600 to A-2 and A-3 after deducting ₹727,900 in the direction of GST and IT.”
When in comparison with the charges of Dharmapuri district printers service industrial co-op society ltd, the charges paid to the duo are “completely exorbitant”, the company stated. And so they had been paid (by 4 cheques in two instalments) from the funds allotted to panchayat unions for 3 months from January to March in 2020 below the state finance fee.
“A-1 being a public servant had carried out her official features improperly or dishonestly in anticipation of or in penalties of accepting undue benefits from A-2 and A-3 and likewise, she being entrusted with the funds of the federal government, dishonestly/fraudulently misappropriated a sum of ₹13,177,500 and transformed for her personal use with their energetic connivance,” the DVAC stated.
The price of printing one ebook in authorities societies is ₹40 whereas the IAS paid ₹135 per ebook to the printers, says Venkatesh. “That’s greater than thrice the associated fee leaving the exchequer at a lack of ₹1.3 crore to A2 and A3. How this cash has come again to the IAS officer and the way a lot has come again can be identified solely after they examine extra,” the activist stated.
There’s a authorities order in place since 1991 to make purchases from the Dharmapuri district printers service society which has been working with the share capital of the Tamil Nadu authorities. DVAC states that every one the books and receipts are being bought from right here to be distributed to all panchayat unions and authorities places of work “with good high quality and at low prices” throughout Tamil Nadu.
“…no rule permits A-1 to enter into a majority of these transactions from personal corporations,” the DVAC stated. “It could come up solely in case of any inconvenience occurring in procuring the books from the federal government co-op printing press..” This too is topic to saying an open tender below Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders, Act 1998. “A-1 has thrown away all of the procedures,”DVAC stated. “She had arbitrarily issued such proceedings at her personal with the dishonest intention to commit fraud on the federal government funds with the shut connivance of A-2 and A-3 below the pretext of such obscure and baseless causes.”
The company additionally discovered that the amount of the books bought can be utilized for one more 15 years however they might develop into low in high quality as a result of pure decay. “In one of many panchayats, just one or most two miscellaneous tax books are utilized in one 12 months however she has provided books which can final them greater than 50 years at one go,” Jayaram factors out.
The IAS officer’s cell phone was switched off when HT tried to contact her. The DVAC additionally carried out searches parallelly in opposition to P Krishnan, former block growth officer of Pennagaram panchayat union in Dharmapuri within the case. “The complicity of the bigger conspiracy hatched by A-1 with A-2 and A-3 and the involvement of different officers in having fleeced the federal government cash may be unearthed solely via a deeper probe by scrutinising the related paperwork and inspecting the witnesses,” the DVAC stated.