The Supreme Court on Monday stayed a Madras High Court order directing a CBI probe against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami into allegations of irregularities in the award of tenders.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph stayed the order after hearing senior counsel C.A. Sundaram, appearing for Palaniswami, and advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Tamil Nadu.

The apex court also issued a notice to DMK MP R.S. Bharathi who had filed a petition accusing Palaniswami of misusing his official position to allocate various road construction projects to companies owned by his relatives and others.

The Chief Minister has contended that the Madras High Court had wrongly passed the order without issuing him a notice and providing him an opportunity to defend himself.

The High Court order had come on Bharathi’s plea seeking direction to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) to register a case against the Chief Minister.

It rejected a preliminary report submitted by the DVAC giving a clean chit to the Chief Minister.