Granite scam probe committee recommends CBI probe

Chennai, Nov 23 (IANS) The committee probing the alleged Rs.16,000 crore granite quarrying scam submitted its report to the Madras High Court on Monday while recommending a court monitored multi-disciplinary CBI probe.

The committee’s counsel V. Suresh submitted the report, running into around 600 pages, and several other sensitive documents to the court in a sealed cover.

The panel, apart from recommending a multi-disciplinary investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), also wanted security for the whistle blowers, common people who assisted in the probe and protection to honest officials from being victimised by the administration.

However, Advocate General A.L. Somayaji opposed it.

Replying to the opposition, Suresh told the court that security and protection is important as it was found that the scam was going on for over 20 years with the involvement of senior officials.

He said while U. Sagayam as a district collector Madurai had estimated the loss to the government to the tune of around Rs.16,300 crore another government appointed committee had estimated the loss at around Rs.18,600 crore.

The court also agreed with the committee’s view that the sensitive documents be in the court’s safe custody.

The court has posted the matter for January 4, 2016 for further hearing.

Speaking to IANS, Suresh said: “There are still are individuals, officials, experts who are conscientious and who in the midst of tremendous pressure gave evidence.”

“There are embers of hope,” Suresh added.

It is known fact that the government did not want Sagayam to probe the matter.

The Madras High Court had even fined the state government Rs.10,000 for delaying the appointment of Sagayam to probe the granite scam.

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