Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh high court on Thursday quashed the First Information Report (FIR) registered by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas and others in the alleged Amaravati land scam also known as capital land scam.
The court also gave liberty to Dammalapati and others to claim compensation from the de facto complainant for intimidation and harassment.
Based on a complaint of K Srinivasa Swamy Reddy, the ACB officials had registered an FIR against Srinivas, his family members, and friends alleging that he misused his position as additional advocate general by sharing the information and amassed huge wealth in Amaravati, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh.
It was alleged that Srinivas knew about the capital location and purchased landed properties through his family members, relatives and friends.
The ACB also alleged that Srinivas cheated farmers by purchasing their lands at throwaway prices before the announcement of capital. As a result, the value of land increased manifold.
Srinivas challenged the FIR in the high court. The high court passed an interim order directing the ACB to stop all further proceedings in the case. The high court also issued a gag order not to publish the contents of the FIR.
The state government challenged the high court order in the Supreme Court. The apex court set aside the gag order but upheld the interim order with regard to further proceedings of the case.
Later, the state government moved an application before the apex court for withdrawal of the petition. The Supreme Court allowed the application and directed the high court to decide the pending writ petition in four weeks.
Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the high court heard the arguments on both sides.
Senior counsel Siddharth Luthra argued on behalf of Srinivas stating that the entire case was filed with political motives and without any basis.
Arguing on behalf of the state government, advocate general S Sriram stated that the ACB acted upon the complaint which was prima facie fit for investigation. He said the ACB did not get a chance to investigate deeper because of the court orders.
After hearing the arguments on both sides, Justice Ch Manavendranath Roy reserved orders. Accordingly, the court on Thursday quashed the FIR.