‘Note-for-vote’ scam: ‘No stay’ on the ACB cases says Supreme Court

Friday, September 23, 2016
New Delhi/Hyderabad

The Supreme Court on Friday made it clear that no court has the power to stay the proceedings in corruption cases.

The apex court dealing with a Special Leave Petition filed by MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy challenging the stay order issued by Hyderabad High Court on the role of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minster Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s role in the ‘Note-for-Vote’ scam.

It may be recalled that Chandrababu Naidu filed a quash petition in Hyderabad High Court and got a stay order not to investigate his role in the said scam.

A Division Bench comprising of Justices S.A.Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan said that notices will be served on the parties after going through the SLP. The advocate for Chandrababu Naidu Siddaradha Ludra put forth his arguments and the Bench amended its orders after the completion of arguments.

The Division Bench said that that interim orders issued by High court was challenged through Special Leave Petition and made it clear that the court cannot interfere and to stay the proceedings and dismisses the SLP. But the Supreme Court suggested the High Court to complete the entire proceeds in the case within four weeks from today and give a final order. The directions were accepted by the respondent advocate. The court has given relief to the petitioner to approach the court in the event of failure by the High Court.

The ACB has already completed its investigation and filed a charge sheet and the High Court passed the interim orders stalling the special court’s orders and as such the petition is not maintainable, Ludra argued. At this juncture, Justice Bobde interfering into the arguments said that the designated court when ordered for reinvestigation in cases pertaining to Prevention of Corruption Cases, no court has the powers to interfere and quoted Section 19(3)B, Section-19(3). As such, the court cannot interfere in the instant case, he said.

Counsel for the petitioner Sekhar putting forth his arguments said that the designated court has ordered for reinvestigation of the case and supporting evidences have been submitted to the court. He said that the special court has ordered for completion of the investigation and directed the ACB to submit its report before September 2, 2016. The respondent has approached the High Court and got stay orders that promoted to knock the doors of the apex court, he said.

Justice SA Bobde assured and directed the High Court to complete the proceedings and a final decision should be taken within four weeks from today. It may be recalled that the High Court while passing the orders said on Sept 2, 'the High Court granted stay on the order passed by the ACB Court. While adjourning the case by eight weeks, it directed the ACB and the MLA to file counter affidavits in the matter. While granting interim order, the court made it clear that this stay will not be applicable to the main case registered based on the complaint of TRS nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson by the ACB and the proceedings in that case may go on.'

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