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Telangana HC orders judicial probe into Dalit woman’s custodial death

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The Telangana High Court on Thursday ordered judicial probe into the alleged custodial death of a Dalit woman in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district on June 18.

The court directed Aler magistrate to conduct the probe and submit the report to the court in a sealed cover. The magistrate was also directed to exhume the body of the deceased and conduct re-postmortem, if necessary.

A bench of Justice M. S. Ramachandra Rao and justice T. Vinod Kumar ordered the probe while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking inquiry into death of the Dalit woman Mariamma in Addaguduru police station under Rachakonda police commissionerate.

The court also wanted to know why no CCTV cameras were installed in the police stations despite the directions of the Supreme Court.

Mariamma, who was working as a maid at a pastor’s house in Addagudur and faced robbery charges, died in the police station on June 18 station because of alleged police torture.

Jaya Vindhyala, General Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, filed the PIL seeking judicial probe. She alleged that Mariamma’s son Uday Kiran was also tortured by police and he was admitted to a private hospital.

The petitioner also sought orders to the state government to pay Rs.5 crore compensation to the victim’s family.

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat had on Tuesday ordered suspension of three police officers at Addagudur for negligence in handling investigation allegedly leading to the ‘custodial death’.

Station sub-inspector V. Maheshwar, constables Rasheed and Janaiah were suspended.

A delegation of Telangana Congress leaders led by its president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy Wednesday met the DGP M. Mahender Reddy and sought further action against the policemen involved in the alleged custodial death.

They alleged that the police was trying to project the death as a case of heart attack in the Addaguduru police station and demanded a fair inquiry into it.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said Mariamma and her son were whisked away from their home in Komatlagudem in Khammam district by policemen in plain clothes on June 15 in connection with a theft case. They were brought to Addaguduru police station, where they were tortured.

Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka urged Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to ensure action against those responsible for the custodial death.

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High Court green signal for Anandayya eye drops

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has given its approval for Bonigi Anandayya to administer his ayurvedic eye drops to the Coronavirus patients. In its latest order, the court has said that the eye drops can also be given to the patients considering there are no complaints from anywhere on its side effects.

The HC has also sought a full report from the Government on the eye drops. Since the beginning, the AP Government and the Ayush experts have put objections to the eye drops saying that some high level tests and clearances needed to be given to this medicine. As a result, the court withheld approval for eye drops at that time while giving green signal to the other three types of solid medicines given by Anandayya.

With the latest order, the Covid patients can now get eye drops as well. From the beginning, the eye drops are considered more effective compared to other types. The impact of the medicine is more when it is given through the eyes. It would directly leave an impact on the lungs, thus helping in improving oxygen levels in the body.

The High Court postponed the next hearing for June 21. Meanwhile, there is still uncertainty on when Anandayya medicine will be given to the outsiders. Right now, they say the medicine will be given only to those in the local Sarvepalli assembly segment area.

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AP High Court shock to Govt on ‘Amul’ infra funds

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has given one more shock to the Jaganmohan Reddy Government with respect to the Amul Dairy company. The HC asked the Government not to spend a single paise of the public funds for the infrastructure to be provided to Amul. No funds should be spent as per the agreement in the MoU signed between the AP Government and the Amul company.

This shocking order was issued after hearing a petition filed by rebel MP Raghurama Raju. Mr. Raju has challenged the validity and constitutionality of the AP MoU with Amul. The AP Government was supposed to file a counter in this respect. As the Government counter was not available, the High Court has proceeded further and urged the National Dairy Development Board to issue a notice to the headquarters of the Amul Dairy Company based in Gujarat.

The AP High Court has given clear and strict instructions to the AP Government’s advocate to make sure that no public funds were spent based on the MoU with Amul.
This is seen as a big setback to the Jagan regime which has pledged to spend over Rs. 6,551 Cr over the next few years to create basic infrastructure necessary for the Amul operations in AP.

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High Court issues contempt notices to AP Govt

The YSRCP Government in Andhra Pradesh is getting one setback after another in the past few days on the issue of ‘custodial torture’ of rebel MP Raghurama Krishna Raju. The AP Government is already trying to wash its hands of the Raju case after the Army Hospital in Secunderabad had submitted its report on Mr. Raju’s injuries to the Supreme Court.

Now, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh has also taken serious note of the violation of its orders by the Jaganmohan Reddy regime. During a hearing on the petitions filed by Mr. Raju’s lawyers, the High Court asked the Government lawyers why its previous orders were not followed by the officers concerned. The HC questioned why the Government did not submit by 12 p.m. the medical board report on Mr. Raju’s injuries.

The High Court also found fault with the Government and the CID officers for not implementing the order copy issued by 11 p.m. on the health conditions of Mr. Raju. Consequently, the HC ordered the court officials concerned to issue suo motu notices to the AP Government for contempt of the court orders.

The HC also objected to the Government for ignoring the orders of the lower court in the Guntur district in the rebel MP case. Too many legal issues coming up simultaneously have raised the political temperatures in the State.

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KCR Govt accused of violating HC orders

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The High Court of Telangana has taken a serious view of the continuing stopping of the ambulances coming from Andhra Pradesh on the inter-state borders. This would amount to contempt of the court on the part of the TRS Government. A retired officer has filed a contempt case in the court against the Telangana regime.

The petitioner’s advocate contended that though the High Court has issued clear orders not to stop AP ambulances, the Telangana Government has issued orders once again to restrict the ambulances. As a result, hundreds of ambulances are being stopped on the border, which is causing serious harm to the Covid patients.

In the beginning, the Telangana police sent back all the ambulances. But now, they are allowing only those patients who are having bed confirmation from the respective hospitals in Hyderabad. As a result, many patients are finding it difficult to get the confirmations in advance.

CM KCR is being criticised now for not honouring the AP Reorganisation promises. Hyderabad remains the joint capital till 2024 and any restrictions on the AP people would be illegal and unlawful.

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TS High Court fires on SEC for holding municipal polls during corona

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The Telangana High Court on Thursday (today) took State Election Commission (SEC) to task for holding elections on April 30 at a time when corona cases and deaths are at peak across the state.

The High Court asked SEC, “Are elections important for you than public lives?”

The High Court questioned SEC where was the need to seek state government opinion on holding polls and where was the need to issue election notification at this stage.

The High Court asked SEC whether it has no power powers to postpone municipal polls and whether SEC can’t see increasing corona cases and deaths in Telangana.

The High Court expressed anger at SEC when it told the court that it had issued poll notification after taking the opinion of the state government.

“Are you living on earth or some other planet? Can’t you see the increasing corona cases and deaths in Telangana? Where was the need to seek state government opinion?” the court questioned.

The court also expressed anger when the advocate general failed to answer what the government will do after April 30 to contain coronavirus as the night curfew will end on April 30.

The AG said the government will review the situation on April 30 and take a decision on what to do after April 30.

The High Court expressed anger over the government waiting till the ‘last minute’ to take decisions on such important issues concerning the lives of people.

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High Court rejects Dhulipalla quash petition

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh gave a rude shock to TDP former MLA Dhulipalla Narendra. It has rejected the quash petition filed by Narendra against the judicial remand given by the ACB court earlier. With this, Dhulipalla would have to stay in jail for the full 14-day term. He has been shifted already to the Rajahmundry Central Jail.

However, the High Court has also ordered the ACB to file its counter on full details in the judicial remand report. It has postponed the next hearing for May 5. This has raised some hopes in the Dhulipalla Narendra loyalists for the court relief in future. Their argument is that the State Government has no authority to interfere with the Sangam dairy management as it has no shares or financial contributions of any sort for the company.

The High Court has admitted two petitions that were filed against the Jagan Reddy Government’s decision to conduct the 10th and intermediate examinations. Some individual students and Praja Shanti Party KA Paul have filed these petitions saying that the exams would pose a threat to the lives of the students because of Covid infections.

Not a day passes when a handful of cases come up before the High Court every day challenging one or decision of the AP Government.

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Amaravathi land scam: AP High Court directs CID not to take action against Naidu, Narayana

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday (today) directed AP CID not to take any action against TDP chief and former CM N Chandrababu Naidu and former municipal minister in Naidu’s cabinet P Narayana in alleged Amaravathi land scam during the TDP regime.

The High Court ordered AP CID not to take any action against both the leaders for another three weeks.

The High Court also directed AP CID to file a counter in this case by April 19.

The High Court posted further hearing on this case on April 19.

It may be recalled that AP CID had file FIR in Amaravathi land scam on March 12 this year in which Naidu was named as A-1 (accused no.1) and Narayana as A-2.

The CID stated that both the leaders resorted to irregularities in the pooling of land for the construction of AP new capital city Amaravathi in 2015 when TDP was in power.

The CID had served notices to Naidu and Narayana directing them to appear before CID on March 23 and March 22 respectively for probe in the case.

The CID in its notices also threatened to arrest them if they did not appear before the CID for probe.

Naidu and Narayana approached High Court against CID.

On March 20, the High Court stayed CID probe against Naidu and Narayana until further orders.

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Vizag Steel Plant privatisation: AP High Court issues notices to Centre

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday (today) issued notices to Centre on the issue of privatisation of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP).

The high court issued these notices on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by retired IPS officer and CBI joint director VV Laxminarayana challenging the decision of the Centre to private VSP.

The court adjourned the case for four weeks.

Laxminarayana sought stay on the decision of the Centre to privatise VSP.

He brought to the notice of the court that the plant can be operated in a profitable manner by exploring alternate options instead of privatising it.

He said Vizag Steel Plant was set up with the slogan of “Visaka Ukku-Andhrula Hakku” for which several people have laid down their lives.

Laxminarayana already submitted proposals to Centre explaining how VSP could be brought back into profits.

Agitations are already going on in AP against privatisation of VSP on a large scale.

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AP High Court reserves verdict on ZPTC/ MPTC Polls

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court today (Sunday) reserved judgement on a petition filed by Janasena and BJP challenging the notification issued by AP State Election Commission for holding ZPTC, MPTC elections.

The High Court heard the case on Sunday though it’s a holiday.

The arguments on the cased ended on Saturday.

However, the AP SEC filed a counter-affidavit after the arguments concluded.

With this, the High Court allowed AP SEC to present its arguments again on Sunday.

The advocate representing AP SEC told High Court that the election process will begin from where it was halted last year in March 2020.

He said that only polling and counting of votes are left. He said the SEC, as well as employees, are ready to hold the elections as scheduled next week.

The SEC requested High Court not to interfere in the election process at thai stage.

However, the High Court has reserved its verdict after the SEC arguments.

The High Court is expected to deliver its judgement on April 6, Tuesday.

Opposition TDP, Janasena, BJP are objecting at SEC holding elections as per old notification. They are demanding the cancellation of old notification and begin the election process afresh by issuing a new notification.

The TDP had already announced to boycott these elections in protest.

However, the SEC is adamant about holding elections as per old notification.

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Can Jagan rule persuade High Court on 3 Capitals?

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of present Chief Justice AK Goswami is silently giving challenges to the Jagan Reddy regime. No judge, not even the CJ of AP, are making any adverse comments on the Jagan administration style. But they are giving tough verdicts in tune with the law. The recent decision of the High Court bench to hear 3 Capitals petitions afresh is being seen as a major challenge for CM Jagan and his Ministers immediately.

Against this backdrop, Municipal Administration Minister Botsa Satyanarayana once again made confusing comments. He has asserted that their Government is not losing hope on the 3 Capitals bills. The Jagan Cabinet is confident of winning the cases that were filed against the Capital shifting.

Botsa says their Government would persuade the High Court on the need for decentralised development. They were ready to show all the facts why 3 Capitals were badly required for the people of all the three regions.

The Minister did not just show his party confidence but he confirmed that they would certainly create 3 Capitals by shifting Executive Capital to Visakhapatnam.
The political circles, especially the TDP leaders, are indeed stunned at the new confidence of the Jagan regime. The legal battle on Capital shifting is undoubtedly going to be a big sensation all over the country.

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AP High Court to hear Capital shifting cases afresh

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has given one more embarrassment to the Jaganmohan Reddy Government. While the ruling YCP is in a hurry to shift the Capital city, the court has decided to hear all the petitions filed against Capital shifting afresh. The High Court 3-member bench consisting of Chief Justice AK Goswami, Justice Bagchi and Justice Surya has told the petitioners that it will hear the cases from the beginning once again.

It may be recalled that these petitions were in advanced stages of hearings when former Chief Justice of AP JK Maheswari was transferred suddenly. At that time, CM Jagan and his party leaders openly criticised Justice Maheswari and some other judges for alleged partiality in favour of Opposition Leader Chandrababu Naidu.

Now, the 3-member bench led by Chief Justice Goswami held a hearing on the Capital shifting cases when the bench discussed the schedule to be followed in the future hearings. The petitioners’ lawyers, the advocate general and others attended today’s hearing.

They pointed out how the hearings on these cases came to a standstill after Justice Maheswari was transferred. After listening to their observations, the bench clarified that they would hear the arguments of all the parties afresh and in detail.

As such, the High Court stay on shifting Capital infrastructure will continue to be effective for a few more months.

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HC shock to Jagan: no urgent polls to MPTC, ZPTCs

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After the successive electoral successes, CM Jaganmohan Reddy has ordered the officials to complete the parishad elections at the earliest. Several petitions were also filed in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh seeking directions to State Election Commissioner Ramesh Kumar to hold the polls as early as possible. But, today, the court has said that it would not be able to give such directions to the SEC for early completion of the polls.

As such, the High Court has dismissed all those petitions that sought urgent conduct of the MPTC and ZPTC polls. At the same time, the court has asked the SEC to give its counter on those petitions that blamed the SEC for not conducting the polls as per the notifications issued already.

The court has adjourned the hearing on these petitions for March 30. Going by this, the Chief Minister’s haste to complete the parishad elections before the retirement of Ramesh Kumar could not meet with positive results.

Both the Jagan Reddy Government and the petitioners were demanding the SEC to restart the parishad polls from where they were stopped last year. Ramesh Kumar is supposed to retire towards the end of March. He is now taking rest after getting vaccinated for Coronavirus.

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Telangana HC cracks whip on bureaucrats for contempt

Telangana High Court has cracked the whip on bureaucrats for contempt in land acquisition cases as it sentenced to jail five officials including two district collectors during the last one week for disobeying its orders.

By sentencing bureaucrats to jail, the High Court has sent strong message to officials involved in contempt cases that they can’t escape punishment for willful disobedience’ of court orders.

Two orders sentencing the contemnors have given hope to many petitioners who have approached the court against top officials for disobeying the court’s directions.

Several top officials in the state are facing contempt cases, especially pertaining to land acquisition for construction of irrigation projects

The court on Tuesday awarded three months jail for Siddipet district collector P. Venkatarami Reddy and four months jail to the Special Deputy Collector, Kaleshwaram land acquisition, Jayachandra Reddy and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 each.

The jail term for the two officers, however, was suspended for six weeks.

The court, which convicted the government officials for unlawfully dispossessing some farmers in Siddipet district, directed Venkatarami Reddy and Jayachandra Reddy to pay Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively to farmers towards legal costs.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on Rajanna Sircilla District Collector Krishna Bhaskar, who served as Collector of Siddipet between August 2018 and June 2019, for not following the orders.

Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao also ordered that adverse entry be made in the service records of the two collectors.

The judge pronounced the orders on petitions by a group of farmers who alleged that they were forcibly dispossessed of their land for constructing Mallanna Sagar reservoir as part of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project. The petitioners complained that the requirements of Land Acquisition Act were not met despite orders by the court.

In 2017, Telangana government issued notification to acquire land under Right to Fair Compensation, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act-2013 for construction of the reservoir with a storage capacity of 50 TMC of water.

Nearly 15 persons of Vemulaghat and surrounding villages had filed a writ petition stating that the objections they had raised were not taken into consideration. They contended that the details of Mallannasagar project report in Telugu which they had sought were not furnished to them.

The High Court had directed the government to make available the information sought on or before July, 9, 2018. The petitioners later filed a contempt of court case alleging that the court directions were not complied with by the officials.

Earlier on March 2, the High Court had sentenced Krishna Bhaskar, then Joint Collector Yasmin Basha (now collector of Wanaparthy district) and Revenue Divisional Officer N. Srinivasa Rao, to three months simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,000 for disobeying court orders.

Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao passed the order on a contempt petition filed by 11 landowners from Anantagiri village of Sircilla district, whose land was submerged by a reservoir of the Kaleshwaram project.

The officials disobeyed the earlier interim orders of the court to not carry out any construction work that could affect the petitioners’ land unless they were paid compensation. The court had also ordered that the compensation should be paid as per the rules of land acquisition and benefits under the rehabilitation and resettlement policy.

The petitioners filed contempt petitions after the construction work continued submerging their lands and they were not paid compensation. The convicted officials were also directed to pay Rs 10,000 as legal cost to each of the petitioners.

In another case, the High Court on Tuesday summoned IAS officer A. Sharath to be present before the court on March 17 to explain as to why he has failed to implement a court order on Gudimalkapur market when he was commissioner of marketing department.

A bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy passed the orders on bureaucrat’s contempt appeal challenging the order of a single judge that had convicted him in a contempt case with Rs 5,000 penalty.

The bench expressed its unhappiness over the official disobeying the order of the single judge bench to address the grievances of members of the vegetable commission agents welfare association.

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AP High Court issues NBW to 2 IAS officers

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh took a very serious view of the contempt of court committed by two IAS officers. Judge Battu Devanand issued non-bailable warrants against two officers B. Rama Rao and K. Praveen Kumar. The police were ordered to present them before the court by March 19. The High Court issued the orders to Vijayawada police commissioner and Guntur SP.

Once again, the defiance of the Government officials has become a subject of debate in the litigation cases. The High Court ordered the Government to consider the promotional opportunity for boys’ residential hostel employee G Chandramouli in the Vizianagaram district. But those orders were not implemented by the IAS officers. After that, the aggrieved employee filed a contempt of court petition. The court ordered Government Principal Secretary K. Praveen Kumar and BC Welfare Director B. Rama Rao to appear before the court on February 5. However, the two top officials did not appear before the court and filed a petition explaining reasons for their inability to appear before the court.

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Andhra HC suspends SEC’s orders on volunteers, renominations

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday suspended some of the directives issued by the State Election Commission (SEC), on ward volunteers and reaccepting nominations of candidates in some municipalities even after the end of the procedure.

State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar directed district collectors to keep ward volunteers away from municipal polls both directly and indirectly.

He ordered that all the rules which apply to government employees will also apply to the volunteers according to the model code of conduct.

The SEC also directed that the responsibility of distributing voters slips should not be given to the volunteers.

Kumar issued these orders claiming suspicions that volunteers may allegedly behave in a biased way in favour of some candidates.

The High Court ruled against Kumar’s order of taking back the tablets given to volunteers as part of their governance delivering duties, all of which now stand cancelled.

Likewise, the Court gave an interim suspension of the SEC’s order allowing renominations in Tirupati, Rayachoti and Punganuru municipalities as the nomination procedure has already been finished.

The Court ordered that no new opportunities should be given for nominations.

Before the Court’s orders, ruling party leaders criticized the SEC for issuing orders restricting the volunteers and allowing renominations in these three civic bodies.

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High Court green signal for Jagan ration door delivery

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has given the go ahead to the Jaganmohan Reddy Government’s prestigious door to door delivery of ration in the State. The court has however put a condition that there should be no political party colours or involvement in any manner in the ration delivery. The photos of any political leaders should not be there on the vehicles or bags during the ration distribution.

The HC instructed the Government to come out with a detailed plan towards the ‘partyless distribution’ of the ration commodities. The Government should submit this plan to State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar within two days. On his part, the SEC would take the decision within five days.

However, the problem here for the Jagan regime is that there are photos of the Chief Minister on the ration vehicles. Also, these vehicles were painted with the YCP colours in a visible manner.

Interestingly, the court just said there should be no party colours or photos. It is curious to see how the Government would interpret this in its plan that would be submitted to the SEC. Obviously, Ramesh Kumar would certainly object if the ration vehicles carry the CM photos.

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HC quashes atrocities cases against Amaravati farmers

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh is giving blow after blow to the Jaganmohan Reddy Government. Today also, the court struck down yet another case filed against the Amaravati farmers. This was pertaining to the SC, ST atrocities that were filed against the SC farmers of Krishnayapalem village in the Capital city area.

The respondents’ lawyer argued before the court that the atrocities cases should be filed only when the SC, STs were attacked by other castes or communities. In this case, the police filed the atrocities cases against the SC farmers. This was quite unheard of in the past that such cases could be filed.

Only yesterday, the HC gave a verdict that no insider trading took place in the Amaravati lands. Even after the change of the Chief Justice of AP, one by one adverse orders were being given against the cases and decisions of the Jagan regime.

Soon, the cases relating to the shifting of Capital infrastructure will also come up before the High Court.

Analysts say that the farmers’ petitions were strong in respect of their agreements reached with the Government for the development of the Capital. Tough days are ahead for the Jagan regime with all these cases coming up before the court in a row.

The AP Government is approaching the Supreme Court on all these cases but the future is uncertain whether the CM could get final approval for Capital shifting.

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CM Jagan in a hurry to speed up Kurnool High Court

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AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy had raised 16 items concerning the State during his meeting with Union Home Minister Amita Shah in Delhi. The foremost plea made by Jagan Reddy was about the need for issuing renotification for shifting the High Court of Andhra Pradesh from Amaravati to Kurnool. This has been one of the major hurdles for the Jagan regime’s bold move on its 3 Capitals plan in the name of decentralisation of administration.

The other request of AP CM was for the Centre’s approval for the revised estimates of Polavaram irrigation project which was put at Rs. 55,656 Cr. The deadlock over the works on this prestigious lifeline project has been giving a big embarrassment to the Jagan regime. Also, the Centre should immediately pay the Rs. 1,644 Cr arrears under Polavaram as these funds were pending since 2018.

Mr. Jagan Reddy also pleaded with Mr. Amit Shah for the Centre to pay Rs. 22,948 Cr to fill the revenue deficit gap that was there during 2014-`15. The AP CM also sought Central intervention to make the Telangana Government to pay Rs. 5,541 Cr to the AP Genco under the reorganisation plan.
CM Jagan has also sought Mr. Amit Shah support for the Disha and AP Land Titling Bills.

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CBI notice to AP High Court lawyer on social media comments

Noted High Court lawyer Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi has received notices from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to attend before it on January 9. The notices were served to him in connection with the controversy surrounding the social media comments made against the High Court and the Supreme Court judges.

The CBI has asked the lawyer to attend before its officials at Visakhapatnam office. The AP High Court has asked the CBI to probe the comments made by some social media activists against the judges. There has been some delay in the investigation with some of the accused in this case currently living abroad.

However, the CBI has stepped its investigation against those staying in the country. Lawyer Gopala Krishna is going to present before the CBI and explain his version.

Reports say that some elected representatives and leaders have also received the CBI notices in this respect. The names have been kept a closely guarded secret.

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