Andhra Pradesh government withdraws plea in Supreme Court on Amaravati lands
During the proceedings, Justice Saran makes it clear that HCs or even Supreme Court can’t be told to decide the case in a fixed time, in response to a request by the appellants to lay down a timeline to AP HC for disposal of the case
New Delhi : The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday withdrew a petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the state High Court's stay on investigation into the alleged Amaravati land scam case.
A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari allowed the plea of senior counsel of the state government, Rajeev Dhawan, for withdrawal of the special leave petition. Rajeev Dhawan stated that the government would like to go back to the state High Court.
The FIR had named 13 persons, including two daughters of Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana, then a Supreme Court judge and former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas, alleging that they purchased land in Amaravati area and made pecuniary gains.
Last week, the state government told the Supreme Court that it would not take any "coercive action" against the two daughters of Ramana and also Dammalapati Srinivas in connection with the purchase of lands in Amaravati.
The bench, during the hearing told advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki, representing the Andhra Pradesh government, "you did not file the counter against the stay in high court and came straight here?" Nazki replied, "We are wiser now... We intend to file the counter in the High Court."
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, representing respondents, submitted that the state came to the top court at an early stage. "They have had the benefit of a stay for almost 8 months. Let the matter be called here and be decided once and for all. Your Lordships' order of July 19, is also to have a bearing on the issue here," contended Luthra.
Justice Saran noted in High Court, he used to get very angry when orders were shown fixing a deadline for High Court to conclude a matter. "High courts can't be directed. Even Supreme Court can't," said Justice Saran on a request to lay down a timeline for Andhra Pradesh High Court to decide a case related to Amravati land scam.
The AP government ordered a SIT probe into the allegations of a scam in the sale of lands near Amravati, in anticipation of the establishment of new state capital after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. The High court, on September 15 last year, had stayed the SIT probe on a plea by the former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas.
On July 19, in a major blow to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Supreme Court dismissed the state's plea against quashing of criminal cases filed in connection with land transaction at Amravati.