Amaravati land scam: SC to hear AP govt appeal against HC order on July 22

The Supreme Court Tuesday said it will hear on July 22 the plea of Andhra Pradesh government challenging the high court order which stayed SIT probe into alleged irregularities in the land deals in Amaravati during the previous TDP Regime.

A bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari did not agree with the state government's submission that the matter be remanded back to the high court as investigation in the case has almost been stalled.

During the hearing, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the state, said the writ petition filed before the high court is an outcome of "regime revenge".

If both parties agree that the matter should be heard here, then the court can apply its mind, the bench said.

Dhavan said he was not in a position to say that the matter be heard here but on instructions, I can say that it should be heard in the high court, at length as there are too many facts and case laws in the matter and, moreover, it is against the interim order.

He said the state government has accepted most of the conditions in the writ petition filed before the high court by the state's former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas such as, it is ready for a court monitored probe and no coercive action will be taken till the pendency of the plea.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Srinivas, said his submission was that the appeal filed by the state government be dismissed and matter be remanded back to the high court.

Dhavan said the proceedings are not taking place before the high court and even investigation has almost been stalled and therefore the matter should be remanded back.

I have gone through the entire case law related to this matter. The Supreme Court has never stopped an investigation before. This petition is a vengeance petition of a lost election, Dhavan said.

Salve said that if the court goes through the papers and the FIR filed in the matter, it will quash the investigation.

The bench said it would hear the matter after one week and posted the matter for further hearing on July 22.

On March 5, the state government had told the top court that it was agreeable for court monitored CBI probe into alleged irregularities in land transactions during shifting of the state capital to Amaravati.

It urged the court to lift the stay granted by the High Court on the probe by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) into the alleged scam and allow the investigation to go on in the case.

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government had earlier constituted the 10-member SIT, headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police - rank IPS officer, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into various alleged irregularities, particularly the land deals in the Amaravati Capital Region, during the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime.

Dhavan had earlier submitted that they are agreeable to some of the prayers sought by Srinivas before the High Court.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by Andhra Pradesh government through advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki against the September 15, last year order of the high court.

On November 25, last year, the top court had stayed the High Court direction restraining the media from publishing news regarding an FIR lodged on alleged irregularities in land transactions during shifting of the state capital to Amaravati.

It had refused to stay at this stage the other directions of the high court including the stay on probe into the FIR in the matter.

The top court had not issued notice to chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on the appeal as the high court had not issued notice to him and had sought responses from others including the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh.

It had said that court is also not issuing notice to Srinivas, on whose plea the high court had passed the order, as he has appeared before it on caveat.

The report of a Cabinet Sub-Committee on the procedural, legal and financial irregularities and fraudulent transactions concerned with various projects, including the issues related to land in the CRDA region will form the basis for the SIT probe, the Andhra Pradesh government had said.

Andhra Pradesh government had earlier argued the high court could not have said that no investigation should take place in the case and should not have given directions that no coercive action be taken and no gag order could have been passed.

It had contended that the writ petition before the high court is political and against the chief minister and is based on reliable sources.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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