Register case against Cognizant for bribing TN officials: Stalin

DMK President M.K. Stalin on Monday demanded the registration of a case against the US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions for bribing Tamil Nadu government officials in an effort to secure construction permits.

In a statement issued here, Stalin said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government should assist the state’s Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) in acquiring bribery evidence from US courts.

Last week, Cognizant said that it agreed to settle the case by agreeing to pay about $28 million to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bribing of foreign government officials is an offence in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Cognizant admitted that it had paid about $2 million as bribe to the officials through its construction company to get the permits.

The construction company in question is a large engineering firm with an office in Chennai, according to the case papers.

Stalin, in his statement on Monday, said the AIADMK government has brought a permanent blot on Tamil Nadu in the global arena by demanding and accepting bribe from Cognizant in 2014 to give construction permits for the KITS Campus in Shollinganallur.

Stalin said the AIADMK government was driving away investors thereby preventing job opportunities for the youth.

Although Cognizant has agreed to settle the case, the DVAC can start a probe to locate the corrupt officials, an agency official told IANS.

“It is not mandatory for DVAC to wait for a formal complaint to start an inquiry. Any credible information is enough to start an initial probe. So, even a newspaper report is information for DVAC. In such a situation, the DVAC Director can call for records, peruse, assess and proceed with future course of action,” S.K. Dogra, former DVAC Director, told IANS.