Andhra Pradesh high court asks CBI to probe Nellore court theft case

TIRUPATI: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday asked the CBI to probe the theft from the IVth Additional Judicial First-Class Magistrate Court in Nellore. The case majorly involves a state minister and a TD leader.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Mishra and Justice DVSS Somayajulu issued the order after a defamation case was filed by Telugu Desam leader Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy against state agriculture minister Kakani Govardhan Reddy.

The Nellore principal district judge had ruled that the investigation into the theft case was not done properly and it would be better if an independent agency probed the matter. Hence, the HC took up suo motu hearing of the case as a public interest litigation (PIL).

The issue was taken up as a suo motu PIL in response to a letter addressed by the high court’s registrar (Vigilance) to its registrar (judicial) as per the CJ’s directives.

In July, principal secretary (home) Kumar Vishwajeet filed an affidavit in the court on behalf of the state government. It said the government had no objection to the transfer of investigation to any other agency. Minister Kakani informed this to the court.

It was in December 2017 that the then opposition party MLA Kakani Govardhan Reddy accused TD leader and then minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy of amassing huge wealth through dubious means and released some documents as proof.

Somireddy complained to the police that the documents released by Kakani were forged. A charge sheet was filed in the case.

Curiously, the material presented before the court in that case was stolen from there a few days after Kakani became a minister. Unidentified persons stole a bag reportedly containing documents, stamps and electronic items, from the court. Based on the complaint by court staff, the police filed a case, launched an investigation and arrested two suspects. The guilt on them is yet to be established.

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