PIL seeks action against officers who failed to act on reports of Vigilance & Enforcement Department

A public interest litigation (PIL) bench of the High Court comprising acting Chief Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Vilas Afzalpurkar on Monday asked the government to explain why it was not ready to register criminal cases against officials responsible for fraudulent allotment of government lands to freedom fighters and ex-servicemen.

The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation filed by Telangana Rashtra Samiti polit bureau member R Satyanarayana seeking action against officers who failed to act on reports of the Vigilance & Enforcement Department which exposed fraud perpetrated by some government officials.

The petitioner said the Vigilance & Enforcement Department conducted an enquiry into allotment of 35 acres of land estimated at Rs. 70 crore at Ameenpur village in Patancheru mandal, Medak district, to seven freedom fighters of other districts.

Cases recommended

The probe revealed the involvement of brokers and realtors in connivance with revenue officials and assignment review committee members to knock away valuable government lands in Medak district.

Based on the evidence collected, the vigilance report recommended registration of criminal cases against 10 public servants.

Since the government kept the issue in abeyance, the petitioner challenged it.

The bench expressed dismay at this and adjourned the case by three weeks to facilitate filing of counter affidavits by the government.

NBWs in excise cases

The bench directed the Excise Department to take steps to execute non-bailable warrants issued against the accused involved in various offences under the Excise Act. It granted two months to report compliance.

The bench was dealing with a ‘taken up’ case arising out of the letters written to the Chief Justice by one Venkateswara Rao and two others. They contended that the excise authorities were interfering and not permitting compounding of offences under the Prohibition & Excise Act in spite of several circulars issued by the government.

Accused not traceable

The State government informed the court that non-bailable warrants could not be executed as the accused in many cases were not traceable. The bench adjourned the case by two months asking the government to execute these warrants.