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Amaravati land scam: Supreme Court to hear Andhra Pradesh Government appeal against High Court order on July 22, 2021

Amaravati land scam: Supreme Court to hear Andhra Pradesh Government appeal against High Court order on July 22, 2021

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (July 13,2021), adjourned the hearing in a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh Government challenging the High Court order staying a probe into the case registered against a former Advocate General and others for alleged irregularities in the Amaravati land distribution during the erstwhile TDP (The Telugu Desam Party) regime of N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The division bench of Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari adjourned the hearing to July 22, 2021.

Courtroom Exchange

At today's (July 14,2021) hearing, Dhavan argued that the procedure was not carried out and the only request of the Andhra Pradesh government was to return the matter to the High Court and continue the investigation there.

Dhavan stated, "I have gone through the entire case law on this. And the Supreme Court has never stopped an investigation before. This petition is a vengeance petition of a lost election. It talks of despotic rule, nasty Gestapo. How much has this fallen? This is simply unacceptable."

In this regard, the court pointed out that if lawyers agree, they tend to review the matter. They consulted Salve on this matter.

Salve informed the court that the matter had been heard by the Supreme Court for more than a year and was a case of " regime revenge."

On the other hand, Dhavan stated that he could not go to the Supreme Court to hear the matter, and his instruction was that the High Court should know the matter in detail.

Dhavan also stated that, “If it's against an interim order, then you may record that no coercive action may be taken. This SLP is by us, but the short answer to your question whether it should be heard here or by the High Court, considering all the facts, it should be remanded to the High Court. They do not want it to be heard here. It is a long-drawn matter."

However, Salve objected to this and stated that if Dhavan is promoting SLP (Special Leave Petitions), then it should be heard. Otherwise, the SLP may be dismissed and the matter will be heard by the High Court; the appellant cannot do so at the same time.

Dhavan further insisted that the matter should be heard by the criminal procedure stipulated by the Code of Criminal Procedure-"Let the investigation proceed because you will get all the facts then. We have asked the CBI to come in. Let the process be done normally. In this case, there should be an oversight of a Judge".

Background

The issue involves the Jagan Mohan Reddy government ordering a special investigation team to investigate allegations of large-scale fraud through the sale of land near Amaravati, to establish a new state capital there after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.

On September 15 last year, then Chief Justice J K Maheshwari suspended the SIT investigation in response to a petition submitted by the former Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas. The High Court also approved a gag order prohibiting media reports and discussions on FIR content on social media.

In November last year, the Supreme Court issued a notice regarding the Associated Press petition against the high court’s interim order. The Supreme Court also vacated the gag order passed by the High Court.

Therefore, the judge has adjourned the matter for a hearing on July 22, 2021.

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