Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lok Satta to wage legal battle: Transfer of ACB SIT chief

The Andhra Pradesh Government has betrayed its scant respect for democracy and good governance by transferring a top official investigating the liquor mafia in the State, charged the Lok Satta Party here today.

Addressing a media conference, Lok Satta Party leaders Bandaru Ramamohan Rao and P. Bhaskara Rao said the Government effected the transfer of ACB Additional Director, K. Srinivasa Reddy, heading the Special Investigation Team, to serve ruling party interests.

Pointing out that the transfer came in the wake of a truce brokered by the Congress High Command in New Delhi between Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and State Congress President Botsa Satayanarayana, the Lok Satta leaders said it amounted to the Center blessing the State leaders to persist with their policies of loot and plunder. The transfer came at a time when people felt that at long last a battle against the liquor mafia had been launched. The liquor mafia has been ruining the lives of millions of people through unbridled sale of liquor and spurious stuff through illegal outlets.

Mr. Ramamohan Rao and Mr. Bhaskara Rao said that the Government in its bid to save the PCC President, Ministers, legislators and others facing allegations of receiving huge kickbacks from the liquor mafia has demoralized the bureaucracy. The Lok Satta Party will wage a legal battle against the transfer of Mr. Srinivasa Reddy and for grant of autonomy to the ACB.

The Lok Satta leaders recalled that the Central Bureau of Investigation had emerged by and large as an independent agency working under the supervision of the Central Vigilance Commission following a Supreme Court judgment in the Vineet Narayan case in 1997. The Supreme Court had in 2006 suggested in the Prakash Singh versus the Government of India case initiation of reforms in police administration to prevent political interference in crime investigation.

The ACB should be autonomous and work under the supervision of a strong and independent Lokayukta, they added.

The Lok Satta leaders asked why IAS and IPS officials, who had alleged witch-hunting in the wake of some CBI investigations, remained silent when a colleague of theirs had been shunted out for discharging his duty.

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