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Agree To Court Monitored-Probe In Amaravati Land Scam Case: Andhra In Top Court

Andhra Pradesh told the Supreme Court that it is agreed for a court-monitored CBI probe.

New Delhi:

The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it is agreed for a court-monitored CBI probe into alleged irregularities in land transactions during shifting of the state capital to Amaravati.

It urged the court to lift the stay granted by Andhra Pradesh High Court on the probe by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) into the alleged scam and allow the investigation to go on in the case.

The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government had earlier constituted the 10-member SIT, headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police- rank IPS officer, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into various alleged irregularities, particularly the land deals in the Amaravati Capital Region, during the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy was told by senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Andhra Pradesh government, that they are agree to some of the prayers sought by state’s former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas before the High Court.

“We are agreeable to some of the prayers sought by petitioner before the High Court (Dammalapati Srinivas). First, we are agreeable that no coercive action will be taken against him. Secondly we are agreeable that court monitored probe should be there but it should be by the CBI, as we have earlier requested for the CBI probe but it didn’t happen,” Mr Dhavan said in the brief hearing.

He said that the State only urged the court that investigation by the SIT should be allowed to continue till the time probe is given to the CBI.

The bench told Mr Dhavan that it will hear the matter on non-miscellaneous day as the court was not available in post lunch session.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 7 as top of the board matter.

The top court was hearing an appeal filed by Andhra Pradesh government through advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki against the September 15, last year order of the high court.

On November 25, last year, the top court had stayed the High Court direction restraining the media from publishing news regarding an FIR lodged on alleged irregularities in land transactions during shifting of the state capital to Amaravati.

It had refused to stay at this stage the other directions of the high court including the stay on probe into the FIR in the matter.

The top court had not issued notice to chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on the appeal as the high court had not issued notice to him and had sought responses from others including the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh.

It had said that court is also not issuing notice to Srinivas, on whose plea the high court had passed the order, as he has appeared before it on caveat.

The report of a Cabinet Sub-Committee on the procedural, legal and financial irregularities and fraudulent transactions concerned with various projects, including the issues related to land in the CRDA region will form the basis for the SIT probe, the Andhra Pradesh government had said.

Andhra Pradesh government had earlier argued the high court could not have said that no investigation should take place in the case and should not have given directions that no coercive action be taken and no gag order could have been passed.

It had contended that the writ petition before the high court is “political” and against the chief minister and is based on reliable sources.

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