The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice on a plea seeking stay of the Andhra Pradesh High court order putting on hold the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s decision to order a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into allegations of irregularities in land dealings in Amaravati.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, which issued the notice, said it will now hear the matter after four weeks.
Appearing for the state government, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave contended that the high court’s interim order is a “drastic” one, staying the entire investigation. He said there is the decision of the state cabinet in the matter and the process is transparent.
Dave pointed out that the decision to constitute the SIT was taken after a December 2019 report from a Cabinet Sub-Committee.
He submitted that the Supreme Court has been of the consistent view that high courts cannot interfere at the stage of investigation. He also questioned locus standi of the petitioners before the high court and said a writ is not maintainable unless one is personally affected by the action of the state.
Dave asked if the wrongs done by a previous government should go unchecked. He said the state had written to the Centre to order a CBI probe so that no question regarding transparency is raised but there has been no response till date.
Justice Bhushan asked if central agencies had been impleaded in the matter.
Advocate Mahfooz Afsan Nazki, also appearing for the state government, said intervention applications were filed in the high court, seeking a CBI and Enforcement Directorate probe but they were disallowed by a separate order.
The bench asked if the present state government had decided to review all decisions of the previous government.
“Not at all… only those cases where gross illegalities are found,” Dave said.
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