An FIR has been filed against former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in connection with the Amaravati land scam. The state Crime Investigation Department (CID) also served a notice to Naidu in this regard and asked the ex-CM to appear before the agency on March 23.
Responding to the developments, Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) termed the FIR as the “most frivolous” one filed by a ruling YSRC MLA.
The FIR was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also under the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The issue pertains to pooling of land for the development of the state's new capital city Amaravati back in the year 2015.
CID investigating officer Lakshmi Narayana Rao asked Chandrababu Naidu to appear in person at the CID regional office in Vijayawada on March 23 "to examine you (A-1) in the above crime, to ascertain facts which are within your exclusive knowledge."
The FIR was registered by CID on March 12, based on a complaint filed by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy on February 24, over a month after the High Court struck down a case pertaining to "insider trading" in the Amaravati land scam, naming Chandrababu Naidu and former minister P Narayana as "known\suspected\unknown accused."
The timing of the complaint and FIR raised eyebrows as it came after a lapse of six years and a related matter was struck down by the High Court.
Referring to the MLAs complaint, the FIR said, "some of the formers (farmers) of his constituency represented him that some influenced persons of the then government have cheated them by taking away their lands illegally, fraudulently by keeping innocent peasants under confusion and fear of insecurity about their lands.
This set of middle man who were the part of the conspiracy by making false representation that the government was going to take away their assigned lands without giving any compensation (sic)."
On that, the complainant verified the GOs issued by the government and found that several irregularities were committed by the respondents and caused irreparable loss to the SC and ST community and weaker sections and got wrongful gains and requested to take necessary legal actions, the FIR said.
A team of CID officials went to Chandrababu's Jubilee Hills residence in Hyderabad, where he was now staying, and served the notice.
As per Section 41 CrPC, any police officer "may without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, of his having been so concerned."
Reacting to the CID notice, TDP state president K Atchannaidu said it was nothing but 'vendetta.'
In a statement, Atchannaidu alleged that Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s family had occupied over 700 acres of assigned land in his family estate in Kadapa district for 30 years and claimed to have returned 300 acres after it was exposed.
"Did not your father, late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, amend the Assigned Land (Prohibition of Transfer) Act in 2007.
Has he not enabled taking away the poor peoples lands and handing them over to persons of choice?" Atchannaidu questioned.
The former minister pointed out that lands in the Amaravati region were not taken for any personal gains but the farmers had voluntarily given them up for building the state capital.
(With PTI inputs)