AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday appealed to the state high court to implead the Centre and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the writ petitions filed against the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the alleged massive-scale land irregularities in Amaravati during the previous TDP regime. Andhra Pradesh Advocate General S Sriram made this plea while presenting the state government’s arguments over the writ petitions that also challenge the report submitted by the cabinet sub-committee on the land scams.
The AG informed the Andhra Pradesh High Court about the state government’s decision to entrust the probe to the CBI stating that the decision in this regard was already communicated to the Centre. “Hence, making the Central government and enforcement department (CBI in this case) as parties in the present writ petitions as implead petitioners is necessary,” the advocate general said.
The AG also made it unequivocally clear that the SIT was formed in accordance with the provisions of the CrPC and that there was no violation of law in this regard.
Asking the high court to dismiss the writ petition, the advocate general called the petitioners as the ‘proxies of the accused’ who are likely to be investigated by the SIT in the land scams.
He contended that the petitioners have no locus standi to file the petition as there is no violation of their fundamental rights or statutory rights. In a subtle reference to the motive behind the petitions, the AG said the petitioners clearly stated in their writ petitions that the ongoing SIT probe would dent the image of the Telugu Desam Party leaders. “The petitioners failed to demonstrate how the state government’s orders in this regard will affect them personally. Also, they could not demonstrate to the court any violation of constitutional provisions in this matter,” he added.
Harping on the settled law, the AG argued that the accused cannot choose who should investigate their case. He also sought to remind the court that it does not have the authority to give a clean chit to any political party including the TDP.
Calling the writ petition an ‘abuse of the process of the law’, S Sriram maintained that a writ is not filed for any of the enforceable rights conferred by the Constitution. “It cannot be filed to safeguard the reputation and interests of a political party,” he maintained. The AG brought to the notice of the high court that the state government has written to it (high court) requesting for the allotment of a designated court for the functioning of the SIT and that it is still waiting for a response from the high court. He made this point while informing the high court that the SIT could not register or investigate any cases so far due to the lack of a designated court.
While asserting the rights of the state government, Sriram said that the elected government of the day has the power to review its administrative policies and that there is no constitutional bar on this. In view of the above facts, he said that the petitioners are not entitled for any relief as sought for in the writ petitions.