Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy | ANI File photo
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Hyderabad: The Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government will move the Supreme Court against the high court gag order in the Amaravati land deals case, and also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to highlight its concerns, ruling party MPs and a government advisor said.

The comments came after Andhra Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari issued a gag order on reporting the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)’s FIR against a formal legal officer and few others in relation to alleged irregularities in land purchases in Amaravati. The city was being developed as the state capital by the previous N. Chandrababu Naidu government.

Calling the court’s move unprecedented, Andhra Pradesh government advisor on public affairs, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy Wednesday said the state will challenge the HC order in the Supreme Court.

The ruling party MPs, who have raised the issue in both the Houses, called the order “not impartial” and “judicial overreach”.

“We will take this issue up to the prime minister, president and will keep raising this issue in the Parliament so that people will know what’s happening. We’re not saying anything to the courts or questioning them, it is just a few people in the judicial system,” Lok Sabha MP P.V. Midhun Reddy said outside the Parliament Thursday.

Midhun added that the law is the same for everyone — from a prime minister to a common man.

Rajya Sabha MP V. Vijayasai Reddy said the decision was “quite unusual and legally questionable”. He added that the Centre should intervene into this issue.

“The state is suffering not only financially but also judicially. In Andhra Pradesh, it is the judiciary which is issuing the gag orders and it is not impartial. It needs to stop,” Reddy said in the Rajya Sabha Thursday.


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What the case is

Since it came to power in 2019, the ruling party YSRCP has been alleging blatant misuse of power under Naidu’s regime and several irregularities related to land purchases and government contracts, among others.

Early Tuesday, the Guntur Police filed the ACB’s FIR against a former legal officer and several persons in relation to the alleged land scam in the then capital Amaravati.

However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court issued a gag order by evening.

The court’s move came after the former legal officer filed a plea seeking relief and a gag order, saying the ACB was targeting him with mala fide intentions and there was a political angle to the issue. Senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and Shyam Divan represented the ex-officer. It also granted a stay on the investigation.

On Wednesday, the court also issued orders staying all further proceedings pertaining to the scams being investigated by the state government’s Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The Jagan Reddy government had formed the 10-member SIT to probe these alleged irregularities.

Andhra MPs question the order

Speaking in the Parliament on the same day, Midhun Reddy said, “The High Court has passed a gag order and issued a stay on the SIT… All this is just because a former legal officer and a judge’s kin has been accused in the case.”

Midhun also demanded a CBI probe into what the ruling party believes is a 4000-acre land scandal.

Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy questioned the timing and haste in issuing the gag order at a press meet in Andhra Pradesh. He asked if there was any objectivity in the court’s order, pointing out that the FIR was filed by an agency and did not contain anything that violated the privacy of the people named in it.

“The fairness and equality that our courts are known for comes under scrutiny. Instead of dwelling on whether a wrong has been committed or not, the court accepted the petitioner’s contention that the FIR was politically motivated and borne out of revenge,” he said.

A day later, Vijayasai Reddy too raised questions on the order as he spoke outside the Parliament, saying it was a case of “judicial overreach”.


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State tussle

The row has broken out over a year after Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Reddy constituted a cabinet sub-committee to review all the key decisions made by the previous government.

The panel in its report indicated fraud and irregularities in the Amaravati capital project. The SIT took over the case from there.

The Crime Investigation Department also filed cases after receiving complaints related to illegal land dealings in Amaravati. The ACB too joined the fray over complaints that people in higher positions in the Naidu government had misused their power to fix the location of the capital, and had financially benefited by purchasing lands in that region.

Meanwhile, CM Jagan Reddy, who has maintained that Amaravati was a “real estate project” to benefit a section in Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP), announced his decision to create three capitals in the state.

Over the last year, the SIT and CID also made a few arrests, including that of a revenue official, besides filing multiple FIRs. The CID also booked former ministers P. Pulla Rao and P. Narayana in connection with the land deals case.

However, opposition TDP has consistently denied these charges, calling the Jagan government vindictive and accusing it of political vendetta.


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4 Comments Share Your Views

4 COMMENTS

  1. Many of the judges are appointed in high court by the blessings of CBN and his man in SC. Some of them have worked in their party legal cell and belong to the same community. It’s an open secret.
    I think the Judges selection should be through a national exam like UPSC (IAS, IPS etc) and should be made accountable. If judgements found to be not in line with fundamental principles of justice on multiple occasions, he/she should be suspended.

  2. hello print team,
    As a subscriber from AP, i am very disappointed that you did’t mention the judges comments while passing the verdict. They said govt indicating every move of last govt as scandalous & that the GO to form SIT & sub ministerial committee consists of terms indicating that is not right. They also said govt is continuous process, people in power don’t have absolute power to reverse everything their predecessor did (like trump doing to obama).
    In fact, there is no evidence of scam and no case. Finally court said there should a case so there will be charges & sections so that there can be SIT & ministerial committee not vise versa.
    It was also noted that govt also requesting special court to investigate so called culprits as well as the ex-legal officer who was none other than ex govt prosecutor who handled cases against jagan in previous govt.
    As a senior journalist who had shown pity towards rhea comparing it old ISRO spy case whereas everyone is judging her, please show some mercy on capital farmers whose mean land is less than 1.5 acers which they can’t sow as it was levelled so they are dying one by oney protesting more than 265 days. Please let us stop this witch hunt of politicians and judges and common people alike.
    Nonetheless, It is absolute disgrace when not even temples are not safe under ys jagan, you people are giving publicty to lies of A1 criminal in 45,000 cr scams with charge sheets.

    • The temple is respected not by traditon the genius yellow boy, if there is no corruption or insider trading , why to stop investigation genious, they shpuld have ordered and probe with Independent agency like CBI to establish the facts, the stay on investaigation is creating doubts, only after investagation and evidence is collected genius, if means people of AP lost chance to know the truth in corruption, please stop this may damn fellow know Amarvathi is reale state SCAM

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