Madras HC stays enquiry against IAS officer

The Madras High Court today stayed an inquiry into alleged accumulation of unaccounted wealth by IAS officer C Umashankar.

Chennai: The Madras High Court today stayed
an inquiry into alleged accumulation of unaccounted wealth by
IAS officer C Umashankar.

The interim injunction, effective till June 28, was issued
by Justice V Dhanapalan on a petition by the officer seeking
stay of proceedings against him by the Tamil Nadu government,
based on a May 6 last letter by Directorate of Vigilance and
Anti-Corruption, charging him with accumulating wealth
disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The judge opined that the jurisdictional question could be
decided only after counter affidavit was filed and directed
the government to file its counter.

The petition was posted for hearing on June 28.

In the petition, Umashankar said he was selected by UPSC
for appointment as IAS officer and joined Tamil Nadu cadre in
1991. In May 2006 he was posted as Managing Director of ELCOT.

He contended that `ELNET`, a public limited company, was
jointly promoted by ELCOT and that `ETL Infrastructure Ltd`
was promoted as a 100 per cent subsidiary of ELNET in 2004. He
claimed ETL which came into existence from ELNET funds
`disappeared` from ELNET`s control.

Umashankar said that as MD, he was also ELNET`s Chairman
and had proposed a special resolution for consideration by
shareholders in July 2008 to remove Unnamalai Thiagarajan from
the post of Managing Director of ELNET.

He submitted he was transferred as MD, Arasu Cable TV
Corporation in October 2008. He took steps to protect the
company`s interest.

He claimed disciplinary proceedings were initiated against
him to deny him promotion as Joint Secretary to Union
Government after he submitted a proposal to nationalise
Sumangali Cable Vision. He moved the Central Administrative
Tribunal, which stayed the disciplinary proceedings.

He said a DSP in DVAC sent him a letter dated May 6 asking
him to answer queries on his wealth.He said police was free to
register an FIR against him if there was credible information
warranting action under Prevention of Corruption Act.

However, the police officer, under guise of enquiry, could
not be `let loose` on him, his family members, relatives and
friends, he said and alleged abuse of power by police.

If departmental action was needed, it should be under All
India Services Act or under Public Servants Enquiries Act, he
contended and alleged that the enquiry was illegal, arbitrary,
without authority of law and malicious.


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