Gutka Scam: CBI conducts simultaneous raids at residences of Health Minister, DIG & others

Chennai: The CBI sleuths have launched sudden simultaneous raids today on residences of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar, Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran, former State Minister B.V. Ramana and several others in connection with Gutka scam.

CBI sleuths along with Anti-Corruption-III Unit from Delhi carried out the raids starting early in the morning today including the residence of former DGP/Chennai Police Commissioner S. George, the Hindu reported.

This is the first time the CBI is conducting searches on the residence of a DGP/Head of the Police Force in the State.
“We are conducting raids on the residences of the Tamil Nadu DGP, State Health Minister and 30 others places in Tamil Nadu in connection with the case relating to the gutkha scam,” CBI spokesperson told The Hindu.

The gutkha scam was exposed by The Hindu in June 2017 which involved state’s health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar and DGP-rank officers T.K. Rajendran and S. George, a few other IPS officers among others.

The officers were allegedly taking bribes which constituted to Rs 39.91 crore for permitting the storage, transportation and sale of the banned commodity in the Chennai city.
Last year, in September, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) had registered a case but could not file the charge sheet within the stipulated six months.

Madras High Court had then transferred the case to CBI after a petition was filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLA J. Anbalagan, but the order was later upheld by the Apex court.

This year, the CBI’s Anti-Corruption (III) Unit, New Delhi had registered an FIR against unknown officials of the Central Excise Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, Food Safety Department, public servants and private persons under sections 120-B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC and also invoked provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in May.