Madras HC Permits State Govt to Withdraw Appeal in New Secretariat Building Irregularities Case

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed as withdrawn the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal against the order of a single judge, which had quashed a GO issued by the previous AIADMK regime regarding alleged irregularities in the construction of a new Secretariat building.

The government order (GO) had instructed the transfer of files and records of the Justice Regupathy Commission of Inquiry, established to investigate purported irregularities in the construction of the new secretariat complex during the 2006-11 DMK regime, to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC). Acknowledging the state government’s request to withdraw the appeals, a division bench comprising Justices R Suresh Kumar and K Kumaresh Babu dismissed the appeals as withdrawn.

The bench noted that the arguments of the impleading petitioner, former AIADMK MP J Jayavardhan, opposing the withdrawal request based on various decisions “in our view, cannot be sustained.”

The division bench highlighted that the judgments cited were related to cases involving criminal trials, which were not applicable in the present scenario.

It clarified that the case had not reached that stage and that the single judge’s interim order had left it open to the State to decide after reviewing the available evidence.

Despite a previous decision to direct the DVAC to conduct a detailed inquiry, the same was overturned in the impugned judgments, leading the State to file these Intra Court Appeals, which it now seeks to withdraw.

The court emphasized that when a party initiates proceedings before the Court, they have the right to withdraw or abandon their claim, as established in the case of Anurag Mittal vs Shaily Mishra Mittal.

It further recognized that the Government Order and the directive to conduct an inquiry, which the State now seeks to withdraw, cannot impede the impleading petitioner’s right to seek appropriate remedies under the law, should they choose to do so, especially since the DVAC had closed their complaint. While the bench acknowledged the impleading petitioner’s locus standi in these Intra Court Appeals, it deemed ordering the impleading petitions unnecessary due to the withdrawal of the appeals.

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