Tamil Nadu’s Additional Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Land Administration Girija Vaidyanathan was appointed the state’s new chief secretary on Thursday, reported The Hindu. Vaidyanathan’s appointment comes after income tax officials seized cash, gold and other valuables during raids at Chief Secretary P Ramamohan Rao’s residence and office.
However, there is no official confirmation yet if Rao has been removed from the post. According to TheNewsMinute, Rao will remain in service without a posting.
Apart from being the chief secretary, Vaidyanathan will also hold additional charge of the vigilance commissioner and commissioner for administrative reforms, reported The Hindu. An IAS officer of the 1981 batch, Vaidyanathan has two-and-a-half years of service left.
The Income Tax Department said that they had found Rs 30 lakh in new Rs 2,000 notes, five kilograms of gold and documents with details of undisclosed assets worth Rs 5 crore during Wednesday’s raids at 11 locations, including Rao’s office and residence. A majority of the cash and gold was found at the homes of Rao’s son Vivek and his in-laws.
Rao allegedly has close links with Shekhar Reddy, a businessman from whom officials seized at least Rs 90 crore in cash and 100 kilograms of gold in raids at eight locations in Chennai on December 8. Tax officials said Reddy was in regular touch with Rao. “Reddy had direct access to both Rao and a senior politician of the ruling party. We couldn’t raid the politician as we don’t have enough evidence to link him to the illegal transactions,” said a tax official.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested Reddy on Wednesday. The agency has also launched a parallel inquiry into investigate the allegations that the Reserve Bank of India and two private banks had helped Reddy exchange notes in the first two weeks after the demonetisation decision was announced on November 8.