The Supreme Court Monday expressed anguish over a Madras High Court's order rejecting former Tamil Nadu Minister S P Velumani's plea for a copy of the preliminary report in a corruption case.

The Apex Court also voiced disapproval of the Tamil Nadu government's objection to providing the report to the petitioner and said "this is what happens when we allow political scores to be settled in courts."

"This is not correct, the High Court is wrong. Suppose tomorrow I order an inquiry, and the agency submits a report, can I say, no keep it in sealed cover I will send it to the government? If the High Court accepted the PIL, ordered an inquiry, a report is submitted, how can the High Court say like this," a Bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli said.

The Bench said that the inquiry was conducted at the instance of the High Court and the report was submitted thereafter.

"I don't want to use the word but, regime revenge! See your government... Persons will come and go, Governments will continue, the investigation agencies have to be fair, whichever may the party in power be", the Bench said.

The Apex Court reserved its verdict on the appeal filed by S P Velumani challenging the High Court's order declining his request for a copy of the preliminary inquiry report.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the state government, submitted that the High Court had kept the inquiry report in a sealed cover.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the petitioner, told the Court that an FIR was filed against the former Minister only because of a change in the regime.

The High Court had earlier directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to complete its investigation on the corruption allegations against former Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani and file the final report within 10 weeks.

It had passed the direction while disposing of two petitions, the first one filed in 2018 by the Arappor Iyakkam, an anti-corruption movement, and the second one from R S Bharathi of the DMK.

With PTI inputs