The three month period for the CBI to file a charge-sheet in the court ends on November 14
Time appears to be running out for Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy to take a call on the letter of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking prosecution of Roads & Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao in the Vanpic land allotment issue.
The three month period for the CBI to file a charge-sheet in the court ends on November 14, leaving the Chief Minister no option but to take a decision without further procrastination. Mr. Prasada Rao had also tendered his resignation on August 14 after being named fifth accused in the case and has stopped attending office. He announced that he would not discharge his duties as Minister until he comes out clean in the case. A majority of the Ministers have opposed acceptance of the resignation and counselled the Chief Minister to go slow in the matter.
The Ministers even prepared a note quoting previous Supreme Court judgments in such cases. Referring to Article 163 of the Constitution, the note had mentioned that decisions taken by the Council of Ministers could not be questioned by the courts. They maintained that all decisions of the Cabinet were collective in nature and a Minister could not be singled out for punishment.
Kiran too echoed similar sentiments and declared he would not take hasty decision on accepting resignation and sanction for prosecution. Mr. Reddy had said that he would consult legal experts on the issue. Six Ministers were issued notices by the Supreme Court in connection with deals aimed at benefiting Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy. According to sources, if the Chief Minister does not act on the CBI’s letter, the agency can go ahead with the case. Congress leaders point out that a decision on whether to allow sanction for prosecution or reject it could have been taken at the Cabinet meeting. It is not clear whether Chief Minister would hold a cabinet meeting in the next couple of days to decide the fate of Mr. Prasada Rao.