The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) has registered an FIR against former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu in a case related to the alleged Amaravati land scam. Former Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Ponguru Narayana of TDP has also been named in the FIR, registered based on a complaint from Mangalagiri YSRCP MLA Alla Rama Krishna Reddy (Nani). Naidu has been served a notice by CID officials to appear for inquiry at the CID Regional Office in Vijayawada on March 23.
According to the FIR, the MLAâs complaint was submitted to the Additional Director General of Police of state CID, PV Sunil Kumar, on February 24. The complaint stated that a few farmers from Mangalagiri constituency had approached the MLA with complaints that influential persons from the previous TDP government had âcheated them by taking away their lands illegally, fraudulentlyâ by keeping them âunder confusion and fear of insecurity about their lands.â The complaint alleged that a set of middlemen, who were part of the conspiracy, falsely led the farmers to believe that they were at risk of losing their assigned lands to the government without any compensation. The irregularities committed by Naidu and Narayana âcaused irreparable loss to the SC and ST community people and weaker sectionsâ, the complaint alleged.
Based on a preliminary inquiry into the complaint, a report was submitted by CID DSP S Surya Bhaskar Rao on March 12, which ârevealed that cognisance of the offence was made out.â Based on the inquiry report, the FIR was registered against Naidu and Narayana on March 12, under sections 166 (Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person), 167, 217 (Public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) and 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (Indian Penal Code), read with sections 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), 35, 36 and 37 (Co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence) of the IPC, as well as relevant sections of the SC/ST Act and section 7 of Andhra Pradesh Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act, 1977.
Responding to the notices issued by the CID, TDP state president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu called the move an âact of vengeanceâ by the ruling YSRCP. âThe TDP government acquired assigned lands for the capital with farmersâ consent,â he said. Questioning if any former CM has been booked under the SC ST PoA Act in the history of the country, he questioned if such a case could be registered based on a complaint from MLA Alla Nani, who himself does not belong to an SC or ST community. In turn, he alleged that the YSRCP government was occupying lands that were assigned to poor farmers for cultivation, to use them towards the governmentâs housing scheme for the poor.
In January, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had quashed the previous criminal case filed by the Andhra Pradesh government, alleging âinsider tradingâ by Naidu, his family members and some other leaders close to the TDP. The court held that the land was sold willingly, and no insider trading had occurred.
The criminal complaint had also named the family members of a sitting Supreme Court judge, a former Advocate General of the state, and others. It had alleged that people close to Naidu had prior knowledge of where the Amaravati capital region would come up, and accordingly bought land for cheap rates before the Capital Region Development Authority Act declaring 24 villages adjacent to the Krishna river was passed in December 2014. The court had said that the concept of âinsider tradingâ was alien to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as it is an offence in the field of the stock market.