The ruling YSR Congress party in Andhra Pradesh has entered into a virtual confrontation with the state judiciary following a series of judgments against the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the recent past.
For the last three days, the YSR Congress party parliamentarians have been openly raising objections inside and outside Parliament over the recent orders of the state high court stalling the investigation into the alleged land scam in Amaravati, the capital region of Andhra Pradesh during the Telugu Desam Party regime.
The YSRC leaders have been severely critical of the alleged gag order issued by the high court on Tuesday night restraining the media from publishing the contents of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau into the alleged Amravati land scam involving a former advocate general of the state and daughters of a serving Supreme Court judge.
YSRC general secretary and parliamentary party leader V Vijay Sai Reddy questioned the legitimacy of the high court order stalling the probe into the alleged land scam in Amaravati and gagging the media from reporting the contents of the FIR registered by the ACB.
“The judiciary in Andhra Pradesh is not impartial and is biased against the state government. The high court has taken some quite unusual and legally questionable decisions. There appears to be no material to justify such censorship other than the allegation by the petitioner that it has foisted the case. This is political vendetta being practiced by someone who has served during the previous regime,” Sai Reddy said.
YSRC floor leader in Lok Sabha P Mithun Reddy said one cannot expect impartial judgments from some judges who had earlier served as legal advisors to the Telugu Desam Party. He demanded that the whole process of appointing judges through collegiums should be re-examined.
The MPs also expressed concern that the courts were obstructing the development work of the people. He said it was strange that the courts were obstructing investigations into the scandals instead of uncovering the scams. The MPs urged the Centre to intervene over the orders of the state high court.
While declaring that the Jagan government would move the Supreme Court challenging the state high court orders, the YSRC leaders also demanded that the Centre order a comprehensive probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged purchase of over 4,000 acres of lands by several TDP leaders in and around Amaravati between June and December 2013 in anticipation of the declaration of the capital region.
At the same time, the YSRC party has also brought out a government order issued during the Chandrababu Naidu government a few months before the 2019 general elections, allotting housing plots to as many as 14 judges in the prime area of Amaravati.
“Naidu had given prime lands to judges free of cost. Some judicial officers and their family members had bought lands in the capital region. How is it justified? The same TDP is opposing the allotment of house sites for the landless poor in Amaravati,” state deputy chief minister K Narayana Swamy criticised.
TDP strongly rebutted the criticism of the YSRC on allotment of lands to judges in Amaravati. “There is nothing new in this. During the Y S Rajasekhar Reddy regime, too, house sites were allotted to judges as a matter of policy. The TDP government had allotted lands not just to judges, but also to All India Service officers and journalists,” TDP official spokesman Bonda Uma Maheshwar Rao said.