13 Oct 2023 10:53 AM GMT
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has issued notice to the Centre, State, CBI and other concerned authorities in a PIL filed by former MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar seeking to transfer the investigation of the skill development scam case which involves former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to any central agency.The Division Bench of Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao and Justice A.V. Ravindra Bab was...
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has issued notice to the Centre, State, CBI and other concerned authorities in a PIL filed by former MP Vundavalli Arun Kumar seeking to transfer the investigation of the skill development scam case which involves former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to any central agency.
The Division Bench of Justice U. Durga Prasad Rao and Justice A.V. Ravindra Bab was presented with a series of reasons as to why the case deserves to be investigated by CBI.
Advocate Tagore Yadav Yaragorla appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that there was political controversy and debate surrounding the investigation, particularly concerning the arrest and remand of Naidu.
He added that since the case surrounded the former CM, the emotions of people were riled up and had attracted public attention, with various individuals, including retired judges and senior civil servants, taking sides in the matter.
It was further argued that since political vendetta was alleged, it would be in the best interest of the case if it was investigated by an independent agency.
"The respondent No. 42 being the accused No. 37 [Naidu], persons on his behalf, contend that the case is politically motivated while the State agencies rebut the same. Curiously, retired Honourable Judges of the State, senior civil servants have joined the fray of competitive posturing in the subject matter. The discourse has turned shrill and loud with each passing day." Counsel Tagore argued.
The petitioner argued that due to the complexity of the case, involving multiple states and high-ranking officials, the investigation should be handled by a "premier national agency with expertise in unravelling such crimes with a country-level presence".
He contended that it would help uncover the complex web of financial fraud, money laundering, and corruption in high offices.
Lastly, it was stated that the case had already been going on for 5 years, and a Central Investigation would be proper for speedy recovery of monies and compensations being duly paid.
Submissions on behalf of the AG:
Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram reported 'no objections' to the said plea since that was the stand taken in other pending cases.
The AG however flagged the incident that took place yesterday (12th October) in the Special Court, when the State filed a petition for the former minister's Production Warrant in the Fibernet case.
"There seems to be a certain impression carried by the other side about the functions discharged by the law officers of the state, which has led to an unsavoury incident occurring in the special court at Vijayawada, wherein the SPl PP CID and the presiding officer were abused and harassed by using unparliamentary language and making insinuations against them.."
The AG submitted that all the law officers of the state were discharging their duties impartially bereft of the shrillness associated with the politics of the matter.
Incident before the Trial Court
Havoc ensued yesterday before the Trial Court during the proceedings relating to the FiberNet scam in which Naidu is alleged to be the orchestrator.
It is believed that during this session, the Special Public Prosecutor for the CID (Naga Vivekananda Yadavalli) brought to the notice of the Court a prior gag order from the high court and the Supreme Court's intervention. However, this act was reportedly met with immediate and aggressive responses from lawyers representing Naidu and local attorneys supporting him. Harsh and unethical comments were allegedly made against the prosecutor. Furthermore, it is believed that the Court was left in disarray after the incident and several protests broke out.
Case Title: Vundavalli Arun Kumar v. UOI
Counsel for petitioner: Tagore Yadav Yaragorla
Counsel for respondent: Senior Counsel, Advocate General.