Madurai: Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday ordered issue of notice to CBI on a plea praying for a probe into Tiruchirappalli corporation using "unauthorised" software for purpose of assessing and collecting property tax.
The petitioner, C Raman, said the Department of Municipal administration and the Office of the Commissioner of Municipal Administration had prepared a software and named it Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project (TNUDP) after the state government decided to computerise operations in 2002.
The municipal administrations in Tamil Nadu were served with the software and the password was kept confidential, which meant that they were not entitled to change it as per their choice.
However in 2009, the Tiruchirappalli Corporation entered into a contract with a private company for the software in place of the software supplied by the government.
The petitioner alleged that it was found that after installing the private software, details of property assessment from 2002-04 was deleted and several malpractices had been committed in property tax assessment and crores of rupees misappropriated by some corporation officers.
The petitioner also stated that no permission was obtained from the government for installing private software to access property taxes and it was also not communicated to the Municipal administration department.
Earlier, the petitioner approached the Court to direct the Municipal Administration and Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to conduct an inquiry in the issue and to take action against erring Corporation officials. Even after filing the petition, there was no action taken by authorities.
Hence he sought a CBI probe into the "misappropriation" of several crores of rupees by using unauthorised software for collecting property tax.
Hearing the plea, a Division Bench, comprising Justice R Sudhakar and Justice S Vaidyanathan ordered issue of notice to the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Chennai, Department of Municipal Administration and to Tiruchirappalli Corporation Commissioner.