The Supreme Court stated that it would hear the plea filed by the Andhra Pradesh government challenging the AP high court (HC) stay on SIT probe into alleged irregularities in land deals at Amaravati Capital Region and another HC order in a matter related to alleged illegal land transactions during shifting of the state capital to Amaravati to March 5. When the plea against the high court's order came up for hearing, the top court granted the last opportunity to the respondents TDP leaders Varla Ramaiah and Alapati Rajendra Prasad, to file their replies within two weeks and said that a rejoinder be filed within one week thereafter. The petitions came up for hearing before a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and R S Reddy.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on September 16 last year had granted a stay on the actions of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Andhra Pradesh government to conduct a comprehensive probe into various irregularities, particularly the land deals in the Amaravati Capital Region during the during the TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu's tenure as chief minister.
The top court on November 5 agreed to hear the state's plea challenging the high court order and had sought responses including from two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, Varla Ramaiah and Alapati Rajendra Prasad on whose petitions the high court had stayed the probe initiated by the SIT.
During the hearing in the apex court earlier, the counsel appearing for Andhra Pradesh government had said that the high court had erred in staying the operation of SIT, as it was a policy decision to look into the alleged irregularities committed in the land deals in Amaravati after state's bifurcation into Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The top court on November 25 last year stayed the high court direction restraining the media from publishing news regarding the FIR and posted the case to January 2021.
The Andhra Pradesh government had constituted SIT alleging massive irregularities during the previous government's tenure in the case concerning sale of land in Amaravati. However, TDP leaders Varla Ramaiah and Raja filed a petition in the AP High Court challenging the formation of the SIT pursuant to which the High Court stayed the government orders setting up the SIT. The State government then approached the Supreme Court against the High Court order. -With inputs from Bar and Bench