Probe into ‘illegal purchase’ of land in Amaravati should continue, A.P. tells Supreme Court

The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that investigation into the alleged “illegal purchase” of land in Amaravati should go on and be monitored by a retired High Court judge.

The government said the case could even be investigated by the CBI. The government urged a Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari to refer the case back to the High Court.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the government against a High Court stay on investigation into the FIR involving former Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas among others.

The FIR shows offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, criminal breach of trust and cheating under the Indian Penal Code. The allegations include abuse of official positions in the State, sharing of privileged information and causing loss to the public exchequer during the previous Telegu Desam Party (TDP) regime.

‘Regime revenge’

The State, represented by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, maintained in the Supreme Court that the Amaravati land case was not a product of “regime revenge”.

But senior advocate Harish Salve, for Mr. Srinivas, countered that the case was indeed a case of “regime revenge”. Mr. Salve initially voiced an opinion to have the case heard in the apex court itself. “It cannot go up and down like this,” he said in a virtual hearing. He said either the State’s appeal in the apex court should be dismissed and the case be heard in the High Court or let the case continue to be heard in the top court itself. The State cannot fight in two forums at the same time.

“We have already agreed that no coercive action would be taken [against the persons named in the FIR]. I am not in a position to say that it could be heard here [Supreme Court]. On instructions, I am saying that the case has to be heard in the High Court, and in detail,” Mr. Dhavan submitted.

The Bench deferred the hearing to July 22.

The High Court had stayed the investigation and barred the State from taking any coercive action against the persons named in the FIR.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 5:33:31 PM |

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