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GOVERNMENTS

Amaravati land scam: Andhra Pradesh withdraws plea in Supreme Court challenging High Court stay on probe

NEW DELHI: The Andhra Pradesh government Thursday, July 22, withdrew its plea from the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order which had stayed the SIT probe into alleged irregularities in the land deals in Amaravati during the previous TDP Regime.

The state government told a bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari that it will approach the High Court. The state government had told the apex court on March 5 that it was agreeable to 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 the 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 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.

The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by Andhra Pradesh government through advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki, against last year’s September 15 order of the High Court.

On November 25 last year, the Supreme 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, however, refused to stay 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 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 former Advocate General Dammalapati 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.

It had earlier argued that 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.

The apex court had on July 19 dismissed six appeals filed by the Andhra Pradesh government challenging the High Court order quashing FIRs against private buyers of plots at Amravati who were accused of cheating the sellers by not disclosing the fact that the state capital was to be established there.

Source:Press Trust of India

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