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AP court summons TN Governor Rosaiah in land allotment case

PTI 18 Jun 2012, 22:27:18 IST
Hyderabad, Jun 18: A court in Hyderabad today summoned Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah to appear before it on August 2 in connection with a criminal case against him over allotment of prime land in the city worth about Rs. 500 crores.

The allotment, made in favour of an industrialist and some others, was made when he was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh during 2009-10, reports The Hindu.

Rosaiah is the sole accused in the case.

The Principal Court for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases has issued summons for offences under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, and 13 (2) and 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

These provisions of the PC Act relate to public servants committing criminal misconduct and obtaining for themselves or anyone else valuable things or pecuniary advantage, by corrupt or illegal means respectively.

Article 361 (2) of the Constitution of India states that “no criminal proceedings shall be instituted or continued against the President of the Governor of a State in any Court during his term of office.

 However, the petitioner's lawyers claimed that a criminal case was pending against Mr. Rosaiah even before he became Governor and that a first information report (FIR) against him was pending.

The court acted on a protest petition filed by advocate K. Mohanlal after his initial prayer was allegedly stalled by the ACB. The ACB had requested the court to close the FIR, stating that it did not find any case against Mr. Rosaiah.

Mohanlal had requested a court in December 2010 to order the ACB to probe the allegedly illegal allotment of over 9 acres of land near Maitrivanam at Ameerpet here in favour of G.N. Naidu, chairman of Regency Ceramics, and 16 others.

The land was stated to have been acquired by the State government three decades ago under the Land Acquisition Act and later conveyed to the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

Naidu represented to Mr. Rosaiah in January 2010 to withdraw the land from acquisition proceedings and allot it to him and some others.

A similar request by him had been turned down by Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, in the face of stiff opposition from officials. The officials had insisted that once taken possession under the Land Acquisition Act, the land could not be denotified.

The court ordered an investigation by the ACB. The Bureau filed the FIR in March 2011 and submitted the final report to the court later, saying there was no case.

When Mohanlal filed a protest petition two months later, the court allowed him and his colleague T. Sriranga Rao to examine nine witnesses.

The witnesses included the since suspended IAS officer B.P. Acharya, Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration T.S. Appa Rao, and  Rosaiah's Principal Secretary C.V.S.K. Sarma.

The court heard arguments on both sides, and on Monday held that there was prima facie material to proceed against Rosaiah. It ordered the final report of the ACB scrapped.