Durai who had prayed for anticipatory bail was granted the relief by the Madurai bench of the high court. Justice CT Selvam ordered Durai to surrender his passport and appear at the Melur Police station every day. Durai must not attempt to leave the country, the court stressed.
It was in Melur that Judicial Magistrate V Jayakumar issued a non-bailable warrant against the grandson of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi back in Oct. Durai is one of the main accused in the granite quarrying scam and has been on the run for months.
Earlier this year the Tamil Nadu Police put out a lookout notice for him and nine others whose companies illegally mined granite worth thousands of crores. The ten accused have been booked under sections 120(b), 447 and 420 of the IPC.
The scam was unearthed by U Sahayam, former District Collector of Madurai, who found that illegal granite mining had caused a loss of nearly Rs 16,000 crore to the state exchequer.
Olympus Granites and other private companies allegedly set up their operations close to government mines and then quarried on the government land. The companies later brought back the illegally mined blocks of granites to their own stockyards, thereby causing a loss of several crores to the exchequer.
After this modus operandi was exposed by Sahayam, Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) sleuths booked two of his predecessors namely N Mathivanan and C Kamaraj on Sep 15 for colluding with the owners of granite companies.
"Mathivanan knowingly submitted a blatantly false report to the authorities stating that there was no irregularity or illegal quarrying done by PRP Exports (the company's owner PR Palanichamy has been arrested in the case)," DVAC said.
The sleuths noted that Kamaraj had "knowingly and willfully suppressed" material facts in the reports filed by his subordinates about "symptoms" of illegal mining.
At the hearing on Sep 25, the officer investigating the case quoted three Tamil Nadu Minerals Limited officials as saying that Durai had entered into a conspiracy with them for mining granite without permission.