Andhra to approach SC over HC gag order on ACB land case
The Andhra Pradesh government plans to challenge a state High Court gag order in the Supreme Court, which has restrained the media from reporting an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) case, booking the former advocate general, his relatives and others for insider trading.
Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, public affairs advisor to Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Wednesday said the state government will approach the apex court.
Late on Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP), Gautam Sawang, had written to the Information and Public Relations Commissioner, asking him to restrain the print, electronic and social media from publishing about an FIR which emanated from ACB's Guntur office.
"It is informed that the High Court of AP has issued orders -- that no electronic or print news item be published with respect to the FIR -- of ACB Guntur dated September 15 and connected events until further orders," said Sawang.
Sawang also separately wrote to all the local editors and managing directors of print, electronic and social media not to publish news articles on the ACB case.
"You are requested to comply with the above High Court of Andhra Pradesh order with immediate effect," said the DGP.
In this context, Reddy said the ACB FIR named the accused only after finding conclusive evidence against them for their involvement in the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) real estate scandal.
Incidentally, YSRCP Lok Sabha floor leader Mithun Reddy had also raised the gag order and insider trading issues in the Parliament on Wednesday.
Reddy told Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the House about the 4,000-plus acre land scandal in Amaravati, incriminating several influential people for amassing land with the prior knowledge that the state capital would be declared in that place where they bought lands.
According to Reddy, several people who are not even income tax assessees had bought lands worth crores of rupees, operating as benamis (cronies) at the behest of some influential people and their vested interests.
The parliamentarian has asked for a CBI investigation in the alleged Amaravati land scandal in the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, Reddy said: "We are not vindictive towards the opposition party leaders and thus we requested for a fair investigation by the CBI, which is a Central government institution. The High Court orders were surprising."
He alleged that some influential people are trying to stall the ACB probe in the land scam in the initial stage itself.
"This is not just a gag on the media, but it is a gag on institutions and a gag on the system," observed Reddy, pointing to the haste and timing of the order.
He claims influential people are involved in this matter.
Over the past 24 hours, several eminent media personalities across the country have spoken out against the gag order on social media.
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