Hyderabad: In a relief to TDP chief N
Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday
directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to put on
hold their preliminary investigation ordered against him over
alleged disproportionate assets.
A division bench comprising justices G Rohini and Asutosh
Mohanto kept in abeyance the order earlier passed by the
previous division bench`s order to conduct a preliminary
inquiry into the allegations levelled by Pulivendula MLA YS
Vijayamma, the widow of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, against Naidu
and others for amassing allegedly disproportionate assets.
The court, which proposed to hear all the parties
uninterruptedly, posted the matter for further hearing
Justice Rohini said voluminous material has been placed
by both the parties in the writ petition and all of them
required to be heard extensively.
"In the meanwhile, it is necessary that the respondents
in the petition shall not suffer any prejudice. They cannot be
expected to appear before the court as well as the CBI
authorities simultaneously," she said.
On November 14, the High Court had ordered a preliminary
probe by the CBI into Naidu`s assets while admitting the
petition filed by Vijayamma.
Pulivendula MLA Vijayamma, had accused Naidu of doling
out several favours to select corporate houses, including Dr
Reddy`s Laboratories and Reliance, in a quid pro quo mode.
The High Court had directed the CBI, ED and SEBI to
complete the investigation and submit reports independently
within three months.
On November 25, some of the respondents to Vijayamma`s
petition had approached the Supreme Court requesting it to
quash the High Court order as they were not given opportunity
to voice their views.
However, the apex court refused to interfere with the AP
High Court orders and advised them to approach the High Court
to file their objections.
Interestingly, three High Court judges, including Chief
Justice Madan B Lokur, have recused themselves from the case.
While arguing for Vijayamma, senior advocate Susheel
Kumar said Justice Rohini had heard three different cases
where verdicts were given in favour of Naidu.
He had informed the court that his client had filed a
petition in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking transfer of
the case to the apex court or a High Court in any other state,
as she had suspicions of legal bias here.