Supreme Court to hear his additional affidavit today
New Delhi: Margadarsi Financiers, a unit of the Ramoji Rao-Hindu Undivided Family, and two others have filed an additional affidavit in the Supreme Court on Wednesday's police searches in Hyderabad, alleging that they were conducted to create panic among depositors.
The additional affidavit will be heard along with the special leave petition filed by Margadarsi and others, against an interim order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court refusing to stay the operation of the Andhra Pradesh Protection of Depositors of Financial Establishments (APPDFE) Act, which comes up before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan on Friday.
Meanwhile, the court on Thursday granted permission to N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu , to file an application to implead himself in the SLP and this will also be taken up on Friday.
The SLP said the impugned December 19, 2006 government orders were passed ostensibly in connection with the APPDFE Act, but the real motive, looking into all circumstances of the case, was to financially destabilise the media enterprise (of Mr. Ramoji Rao) from running the daily Eenadu and 12 television channels. The SLP prayed for quashing the impugned orders and an interim stay of the operation of the APPDFE Act.
Mr. Ramoji Rao's additional affidavit said the Rangachary Committee, constituted to study irregularities in collection of deposits, had submitted a report on February 15 that the petitioner had violated the provisions of the RBI Act. On February 21, the First Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, Nampally, Hyderabad, issued a search warrant. In the guise of executing the warrant, the police let loose terror and various unrelated and unconnected documents were seized in an attempt to create panic among the depositors. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had made several remarks castigating Eenadu and openly accused the newspaper at several press meets.
The affidavit said, "The freedom of the press and the right to free speech enshrined in the Constitution are in grave danger and the impugned GOs are part of the attempts of the State government to silence Eenadu."
It prayed for a stay of all further proceedings pursuant to the filing of the report by the Rangachary Committee and seizure of documents following the searches conducted on Margadarsi premises.