Amravati Land Scam- Supreme Court Sets Aside AP HC Order Staying SIT Probe
The Supreme Court has set aside the Order passed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court whereby the High Court had stayed SIT probe into the allegations of corruption against members of the erstwhile Government.
While considering a matter related to involvement of TDP Leader of Andhra Pradesh in a scam, a Two Judge Bench of Justice M.R Shah and Justice M.M Sundresh opined that the Sub-Committee and the SIT was constituted to inquire into the allegations of acts of corruption and misfeasance of the previous Government, and therefore, "the High Court ought not to have granted an interim stay when it was not required, as the entire matter is at a premature nascent stage".
Observing that State had expressly given its consent to the exercise of powers by the Delhi Police Establishment within the State of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court said that the Union of India is a proper and necessary party to be arrayed as a Respondent in the writ petitions, as the Appellant (State of Andhra Pradesh) did file an application before the High Court to implead the Union of India and the Enforcement Directorate.
Advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Guntur Pramod Kumar appeared for the Respondent.
In a brief background, by virtue of a G.O issued in the year 2019, the State Government appointed a Cabinet Sub-Committee to examine the allegations of corruption against members of the erstwhile Government. In pursuance thereto, the Sub-Committee resolved to consider handing over the investigation to the CBI/CID/Lokayukta. Based on the report, a SIT was set up by the State, who recommended that the matter be handed over to a Central Agency such as the CBI. Accordingly, CBI was to investigate in respect of the scam involving Andhra Pradesh State Fibre Net Ltd. When both the government orders were challenged before the High Court, all further proceedings pursuant to the two GOs was stayed. Hence, present appeals.
After considering the submissions, the Apex Court opined that some of the reasoning given by the High Court while staying the further proceedings pursuant to the said two G.Os. may not be germane, more particularly, when the High Court has observed that the new Government cannot be permitted to overturn the decisions of the previous Government.
“If the aforesaid two G.Os are considered, it can be seen that the same cannot be said to be overturning the earlier decisions taken by the previous Government and/or to review the decisions taken by the previous Government. The Sub-Committee and the SIT have been constituted to inquire into the allegations of acts of corruption and misfeasance of the previous Government”, added the Court.
Accordingly, the Apex Court directed the High Court to decide and dispose of the writ petitions on merits and in accordance with law, within three months.
Cause title: State of Andhra Pradesh & Anr. V. Varla Ramaiah