Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, August 02, 2001

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Science & Tech | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

Southern States | Previous | Next

Cremation shed cases: CBI awaits prosecution sanctions

By Mukund Padmanabhan

CHENNAI, AUG. 1. Delays in the grant of sanctions to prosecute Tamil Nadu IAS officers has frustrated the further progress of the CBI in the cremation shed cases. The investigating agency is awaiting the necessary sanctions, from both the State Government and the Centre, to prosecute seven IAS officials in connection with these cases.

While two cremation shed cases are already at the trial stage, the CBI has completed investigations and finalised a report in eight of a total of nine other cases. Investigations into the remaining case is almost complete and a report is under preparation.

The cases, which relate to alleged irregularities in the construction of cremation sheds under a Central welfare scheme during the previous AIADMK regime, have been registered on a district-wise basis. The CBI's investigations into the cases pertaining to Ramanathapuram, Villupuram and Chengalpattu were completed as early as last year. Those pertaining to the other five districts were completed earlier this year. While the former Rural Development Secretary, Mr. J.T. Acharyalu, and the former Director of the Rural Development department, Mr. Sathiyamurthy, are common accused, the former Collectors of Dindigul, Chengalpattu, Erode, Tiruchi and Pudukottai have been accused in specific cases.

The prosecution sanctions are awaited from both the State Government (under Section 197 or the CrPC) and the Union Ministry of Personnel (under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act). CBI sources say pressure from some of the accused officials constitute an important reason for the delay. The file pertaining to one former Collector, for instance, has remained frozen from last year despite the investigating agency's repeated attempts at the required sanction.

As many as 2,308 cremation sheds are covered under the cases investigated by the CBI at a cost of almost Rs. 7 crores. Envisaged under a programme to generate employment for villagers, the construction was handed over, allegedly in violation of the rules, to private contractors who carried out the task in an unsatisfactory manner.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail


Section  : Southern States
Previous : Secessionism will be firmly dealt with: CM
Next     : Muthukaruppan apologises to High Court

Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Science & Tech | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home

Copyrights © 2001 The Hindu

Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu