Chennai : The CBI on Tuesday arrested the Registrar of Companies in Chennai for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from leading south Indian industrialist M A M Ramaswamy of the Chettinad Group. Ramaswamy is also a former Rajya Sabha MP, who was elected from Karnataka on a Janata Dal (Secular) ticket.

M A M Ramaswamy is the chairman of Chettinad Group. According to CBI sources, they had received a tip-off that the Registrar of Companies Manu Neethi Cholan had demanded Rs 10 lakh as bribe from Ramaswamy for agreeing to oppose a decision to be taken at the Annual General Body meeting of the Chettinad Group of Companies slated for Wednesday in Chennai. “The tip-off came from a source privy to these developments,” the officer said.

The CBI probe revealed that a rival group within the management was planning to take over the administration of the Chettinad Group and this proposal was on the agenda for the Annual General Body meeting.

Following this, CBI’s Anti-Corruption Bureau in Chennai registered a case and intercepted the Honda City car of Manu Neethi Cholan. The sleuths inspected the vehicle and found Rs 10 lakh and seized the money. They also raided Manu Neethi Cholan’s house and office, besides the office at Chettinad House in Chennai.

“Several incriminating documents and a Computer Hard Disc were seized. Further, an amount of Rs.20 lakh was seized from the residence of Dr. Cholan. The searches are still continuing. Dr. Manu Neethi Cholan has been arrested and is being produced before the Special Judge Court for CBI Cases, Chennai,” a CBI officer said.

Incidentally, last month Ramaswamy had lodged a police complaint alleging threat to his life. He claimed that people inimical to him had put his house under surveillance and strangers, dressed as guards, were intimidating his personal staff. Last year, the State Government had taken over the Annamalai University of which Ramaswamy was the pro-chancellor following a massive financial and academic scandal.

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What’s in a name?

Ironically, Manu Neethi Cholan was named after a Chola King who is hailed at the “Just Emperor’. Legend has it that King Manu Neethi Cholan had ordered his son’s execution after a cow whose calf came under the wheels of his chariot knocked the doors of the palace seeking justice.

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