The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department has served notice to former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in a case related to the alleged Amaravati land scam and asked him to appear before it on March 23, The News Minute reported on Tuesday.
A first information report was filed on March 12 against Naidu, the president of the Telugu Desam Party and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly. Former Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Ponguru Narayana has also been named in the case. The FIR was registered based on a complaint filed by Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party MLA Alla Rama Krishna Reddy.
Both Naidu and Narayana are accused of irregularities in the acquisition of land in Amaravati, according to India Today.
They have been booked under Sections 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. It also includes Sections 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 35, 36 and 37 (cooperation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence).
Further, relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and section 7 of Andhra Pradesh Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act, 1977, were also invoked.
The complaint by Reddy was given to PV Sunil Kumar, the additional director general of police of state CID, on February 24. It said that a few farmers from Mangalagiri constituency had approached the YSRCP MLA alleging that influential persons from the previous TDP government had “cheated them by taking away their lands illegally, fraudulently” by keeping them “under confusion and fear of insecurity about their lands”. The complaint further alleged that set of middlemen falsely led the farmers to believe that they were at risk of losing their assigned lands to the government without any compensation.
The irregularities committed by Naidu and Narayana “caused irreparable loss to the SC and ST [Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe] community people and weaker sections”, the complaint alleged.
A preliminary inquiry was conducted on this. A report, submitted to the CID Deputy Superintendent of Police S Surya Bhaskar Rao on March 12, said the inquiry found that the “cognisance of the offence was made out.”
TDP says action ‘an act of vengeance’
TDP state president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu called the move an “act of vengeance” by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party. “The TDP government acquired assigned lands for the capital with farmers’ consent,” he claimed.
Atchannaidu asked if any former chief minister has been booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the history of the country. He also questioned if a case can be registered based on a complaint from the YSRCP MLA, who himself does not belong to these communities.
The state party chief also alleged that it was the YSRCP that was occupying lands assigned to poor farmers for cultivation, to use them for the government’s housing scheme.
In January, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had quashed a criminal case filed by the state government, alleging “insider trading” by Naidu, his family members and some other leaders. The court had held that the land was sold willingly and no insider trading had occurred.