The Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the matter where the case property involving the Trial of a serving state minister has been stolen from the Court premises.

The bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu observed that "…the court concerned at Nellore as well as the State machinery including the law enforcing agency should have taken due care and caution to secure the case property; otherwise, in the absence of case property being produced and proved in the court, trial against M.L.As. and M.Ps. may fail for lack of evidence."

The Court has ordered CBI enquiry in the matter.

The report of the Principal District Judge reveals that the Special Judicial Magistrate of I Class for trial of Prohibition and Excise offences, Nellore, who is also in Full Additional Charge of the Court of IV Additional Judicial Magistrate of I Class, Nellore, made a phone call to the Principal District Judge, informing about the theft of case property.

The Principal District Judge immediately rushed to the said court along with the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Principal Senior Civil Judge, Nellore and noticed that some case property was lying in the side canal situated by the side of the court and some case property was missing.

The report further reveals that despite Police personnel (3+1) being available to guard the court premises, they have not guarded the court premises properly on the date and time when the theft of case property had taken place.

The case property in question relates to the Trial of Kakani Govardhan Reddy, who is serving as a Minister in the Government of Andhra Pradesh. It has been alleged that he along with others hatched a conspiracy to defame the de facto complainant in public view. It is also alleged in the complaint that the minister has forged the signature of de facto complainant in certain documents with an intention to blackmail the de facto complainant for gain of political survival.

The Court noted that if timely and proper steps are not taken to book the culprits, people at large may lose faith in the judicial process.

The Court observed that it is necessary to reach to the root of the incident as to who are involved in theft of case property, wherein influential people are accused.

Accordingly the Court ordered CBI enquiry.

Cause Title- Suo Motu W.P. (PIL) No.69 of 2022

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