Saturday, December 5, 2020

SC adjourns hearing on AP appeal against gag order

New Delhi: Supreme Court has taken up the appeal by Andhra Pradesh Govt against the high court order of staying the SIT probe into alleged irregularities into projects started by previous TDP govt, including land acquisition in Amaravati.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave appeared for YS Jagan’s Govt, and said the HC order is extraordinary as it stops the entire investigation into allegations of fraudulent practices and abuse of power. He cites the report by the sub-committee, on the basis of which a SIT was constituted.

It is impossible for a high court to interfere at a pre-investigatiom stage and stay all the proceedings, contends Dave. He added that a busybody like a member of TDP moves the high court talking about image of his party and the petition is admitted.

Dave said there is no malafide intention on the part of the state govt and it is apparent by the fact that YS Jagan wrote to the Central Govt for referring the probe into Amaravati land deals to the CBI. The Centre is yet to respond, he told the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court asks Dave if the YS Jagan govt has decided to review all decisions of the previous TDP govt.

“Not at all, only those cases where gross illegalities are found,” Dave responded. The senior advocate has suggested that CBI should conduct the investigation into the alleged scandal.

Gag orders have left the State overnment without any remedy. Bench issued notice on AP High Court gag orders on Amaravathi scam. The bench has decided to hear the matter after four weeks.

Dave: “High Court is also bound by the laws declared by the Supreme Court. They don’t have extraordinary powers to pass any order as they like. In this case, they interdicted a probe and even registration of a case. Can this be allowed? Is this how a high court can function?”

“The state government has been completely fair and on itself preferred a CBI probe. What more can a state do to show its bonafide? But the high court passes an extensively wide order,” added Dave. He requested SC to issue notices on the state’s appeal against the interim order.

Supreme Court issued notices to TDP leaders, SIT on the appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh Govt against staying the probe into Amaravati land acquisitions. Notices also issued on reviving the SIT.

Senior Adv Dushyant Dave: this is a drastic interim order staying the entire investigation. The decision of cabinet on June is there and entire process is transparent and just. All steps taken cautiously.

Dave: The cabinet sub committee was asked for a report. This was done for transparency. After June, a report was given by the sub committee in December 2019. Its not filed today.

Dave: Govt thereafter constituted a SIT to probe this several financial, legal and technical irregularity. This SIT was supposed to be the nodal point of probing this scam. For 75 years this Court has said that HC cannot interfere in investigations at such a stage

Dave: unless you are personally affected by the action of the state a writ is not maintainable. This is what always have been held by this Court.

Dave: however wrong the previous government might have done, that should go unchecked? Constitution bench judgments run contrary to this. SIT was supposed to probe this. What natural justice has been served here? Plea is bereft of any detail by a man with no locus

Dave: Could this plea be entertained at all? State even wrote to Centre in March that let be there a CBI probe so that no question on transparency is raised.

SC: did you hear back?

Dave: there has been no response from them till date

Adv Mahfooz Nazki: two intervention applications were filed in the HC seeking a CBI and ED probe but by a separate order it was not allowed.

Dave: There was question raised earlier also that action taken by one government cannot be questioned by the successive government. But it was allowed. HC interdict something at this stage.

SC: You are correct

Dave reads verdicts to prove how courts should refrain to interfere in a premature stage of investigation. “This demoralises the probe.”

HC does not have extra ordinary power and is bound by Supreme Court judgments.

Dave: The SIT shows fairness on part of the government as it does not want to rush into filing FIRs. They wanted probe and then file FIR.

Dave: no facts, no material or disputed question of facts has been cited in the HC order..kindly issue notice and make it returnable.

Senior Adv Shekhar Naphade appears for State of AP.

Supreme Court issued notice on the SLP as well as the interim relief prayed for. Respondent may also file counter affidavit and liberty to file additional documents.

SC issues notice Varla Ramaiah

SC on Thursday issued notice to TDP leader Varla Ramiah on an appeal by Jagan Mohan Reddy govt. challenging AP High Court stay of its orders to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to scrutinise TDP regime policies/programmes and to form a SIT to enquire into alleged irregularities.

Also Read: Whether condemning Jagan’s complaint without probe enhances prestige of judiciary?

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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