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Monday, March 12, 2012

Supreme Court notices to six Andhra ministers



The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to six Andhra Pradesh ministers and 11 bureaucrats for their alleged role in issuing orders during the tenure of late chief minister Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy to favour the business interests of his son, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The notice was issued on a petition seeking a probe against the ministers and the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the case involving the alleged illegal assets of Jaganmohan Reddy.

Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, is already facing a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged illegal assets amassed during his father's tenure.

An apex court bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari issued the notice on a petition by Nellore-based advocate P. Sudhakar Reddy seeking a probe into the government orders favouring Jagan.

The notice to the CBI, the ministers and officers were issued with regard to 26 government orders issued during the tenure of YSR, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.

The ministers include P. Sabita Indra Reddy (home), J. Geeta Reddy (major industries), Dharmana Prasada Rao (panchayati raj), Ponnala Lakshmaiah (information technology), Kanna Lakshminarayana (agriculture) and Mopidevi Venkatramna (excise).

The petitioner has challenged a Andhra Pradesh High Court order rejecting a probe. A special CBI court in Hyderabad had also rejected the plea.

Sudhakar Reddy contended that the investigation into the disproportionate assets should not be confined to Jagan but should also include the role of the ministers and bureaucrats in facilitating his business dealings.

The CBI court in December last year had rejected Sudhakar Reddy's petition seeking directions to the CBI to register FIRs against the six Andhra Pradesh ministers and the 11 IAS officers. The high court upheld the CBI court's order.

The high court in August last year had ordered CBI probe against Jagan on a petition filed by a state minister and some leaders of the opposition TDP.

The investigating agency subsequently booked a case against Jagan and 72 others.

The YSR Congress party, floated by Jagan exactly a year ago, has hailed the notice to the ministers. The party has been arguing that all the concerned ministers were equally responsible for the orders issued by the government.

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