Trial court’s decision to take cognizance of corruption charges against the Minister without government sanction to prosecute him, set aside
Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao on Monday received a breather in the High Court which set aside a trial court’s decision to take cognizance of the corruption charges against him without a government sanction to prosecute him.
Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy, who had reserved the orders on the petition of Mr. Prasada Rao last week, quashed the orders of the lower court which took cognizance of the offences allegedly committed by the Minister (then holding the revenue portfolio) in a case of illegal assets linked to YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy. A principal special court for CBI cases had initially concluded that the sanction was a necessary precursor to taking cognizance of the offences. After the order of the court, the investigating agency approached the State government for permission to prosecute the Minister but the government refused to give the sanction. The trial court on January 21 altered its order to say that no sanction was required under the prevention of corruption law as the Minister was now handling a different portfolio.
The Minister challenged the January 21 order of the CBI court on the ground that he was not heard before the trial court passed the order.
In a separate proceeding in the trial court, the judicial custody of Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy, Mr. Mopidevi, Mr. Nimmagadda Prasad and other accused was extended till May 11.