Chennai: Finding fault with the manner in which state Crime Branch-CID completed the probe in the 'Aavin Milk Adulteration' case, the Madras High Court on Tuesday warned that the agency should probe the involvment of Aavin officials failing which it will have no other alternative but to transfer the case to CBI in public interest.
Vacation judge Justice P N Prakash declined the bail plea of one Vaithiyanathan, the alleged kingpin of the racket, and whose wife Revathi, owner of Deepika Transport and South India Road Milk Transport, is another accused still absconding.
They were running tanker lorries and were the main contractors for collecting milk from various cooperative societies.
"What is surprising to this court is that the milk procured from various producers should have to be tested for quality at the reception centre by Aavin officials of quality control department. It is obvious from the statements of drivers and co-accused that they have been supplying to Aavin milk mixed with water. How could the officials have missed detecting adulteration? The involvement of Aavin officials in this scam of conspiracy cannot be ruled out," the judge said.
The case relating to adulteration of milk came to light when the police intercepted two persons riding a motorcycle on August 19. They were allegedly involved in many robbery cases and told the police about the theft of 1800 litres of milk from a tanker lorry and replacing it by filling it with water.
The lorry belonged to Vaithiyanathan, also an Aavin contractor for supplying milk. The case was transferred from the local police to CB-CID on September 1. Vaithiyanathan was arrested by CB CID on September 20.
When the bail application came up, Justice Prakash said, "This petitioner owns about 40 milk tankers and his wife Revathi and he had taken the contract from Aavin for collection and transport of milk and they were monopolising this business for a long time. There is enough material to show that these two were aware of the illicit activity."
The judge said the milk collected in cans from various places was taken to specified destinations where the seals on the cans were carefully removed and the milk was transferred into containers.
Finding fault with the manner in which CB-CID completed the investigation, the judge, in his order, said CB-CID has "hurriedly completed" the investigation and the final report was also filed before the magistrate concerned arraigning only the owners of the transport firms and some others, besides drivers.
"Without the active connivance of people in high
places this could never have happened," the judge said, directing CB-CID to file a report before the magistrate detailing the investigation that has been conducted by it to find the involvement of Aavin officials failing which the court would have "no other alternative but to transfer the case to CBI in public interest".
The judge then directed the Tindivanam magistrate, who is dealing with the case, to monitor the investigation and send a report to the High Court.
Declining bail to Vaithiyanathan, the judge said considering the magnitude of the offence against this petitioner, the criminal original petition is dismissed."