TN ministers ‘involved’ in massive gutka bribery scam

The Income-Tax Department is awaiting a response to a letter written to the Tamil Nadu government seeking further investigation into suspected bribes of almost Rs 40 crore paid to a Minister and top officials by gutka dealers.

“I can say that the information is true. I cannot share anything,” a senior IT official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The official was responding to a query on a report in a leading English daily about the Income Tax department waiting for a response from the state government over the matter. “We have handed over the documents to police. This is all that I can say now,” he said.

According to another report, the IT investigation also revealed that top Tamil Nadu ministers received money from ‘gutka’ manufacturers and that two Director Generals of Police (DGPs) were also complicit.

In the letter sent to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, the Principal Director of Income Tax (Investigation) B.R. Balakrishnan states that the ledger containing payouts was seized from the residence of a woman accountant.

Reacting to the media report, DMK Working President and Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly, M K Stalin demanded action in the matter. He urged Chief Minister K Palaniswami to order a probe in this regard under a sitting judge of the Madras High Court and to take ‘stern action’ against anyone allegedly involved if the report was found to be true.