Can’t hide ‘quid pro quo’

 -Galla S Kiran Kumar,Bureau Chief Telagana (Andhra Pradesh)

Supreme Court Judge Justice KM Joseph commented that it is clear that 75 acres of land has been allotted to Hetero and Aurobindo companies as part of QuidProco, who applied for it in Judcharla SEZ in Telangana in return for investments in companies belonging to the current AP Chief Minister (Jagan Mohan Reddy).

Supreme Court’s comments on the case

filed by Hetero Group
today – Delhi

Supreme Court Judge Justice KM Joseph commented that it is clear that 75 acres of land has been allotted to Hetero and Aurobindo companies as part of DPROCO. Therefore, it is clear that the investigation of the case registered by CBI against Hetero Group cannot be dismissed. It is known that the Hetero Group filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking that the CBI filed a charge sheet against them as part of Jagan’s illegal assets case, but the CBI special court mechanically considered the charges, and the High Court also upheld the same. The case was heard on Friday by Justice KM Joseph. The hearing came before the bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, speaking on behalf of the first petitioners, said that Hetero group companies are A4 in this case. It was argued that it was illegal to include companies in the entire list of accused, except for individuals. At the time of issuing the summons, the Magistrate was not satisfied that the prima facie evidence was against him in the case. He said that the proper reasons were not recorded while considering the criminal charges, and based on that, the lower court did not examine the case properly. Here the primary responsibility lies with the company and their petitioner (Director of Hetero who is A6) Srinivasa Reddy has only an indirect responsibility. It was contended that since the company had applied for the lands, the liability, if any, was theirs and not the petitioner’s. There is no evidence against him personally.

Those in high places were wrong!

Justice KM Joseph intervened and recalled 17th November 2006 as a very important day. On that day, A4 (Hetero Group) and A3 (Aurobindo Group), represented by Srinivasa Reddy, applied to APIIC MD (A9) for lease of 75 acres of land each. Allotment of land was done in one day. All the details are mentioned very clearly in the charge sheet. Isn’t this proof that those in high places have made a mistake? I don’t want to say anything more. Here, the then CM of Andhra Pradesh (YS Rajasekhara Reddy) said that if A3 and A4 companies apply together on November 17, 2006, they should be given land on the same day. Two or three days before that, other people applied for 10 acres but were not given. The quid pro quo here is to buy the shares of the company owned by today’s AP Chief Minister (Jagan Mohan Reddy) at a premium of Rs. There is nothing to hide. All these affairs happened one after the other. What you have said is technically true that the Magistrate should write his opinion on the charge sheets filed so far. But nothing in this is controversial if we look at the quantitative dates. Therefore, we dismiss your case to strike out the trial. Lands were given in one day. “Invest in our companies, take land, this matter was conducted,” said Justice KM Joseph.

Courts must follow law: Rohatgi

Mukul Rohatgi said that quid pro quo may be alleged in this case.. but he wants the courts to act according to the law. He said, ‘He may be acquitted when the investigation of the case is over… Whether the petitioner has committed a mistake or not, who knows how this case will end’. Justice KM Joseph intervened and reminded that the High Court had also struck down your quash petition for the same purpose of hearing the case. He said that you can get out of the case, but now you can’t beat him. “In our country, all the magistrates are under severe work pressure than the judges of the Supreme Court. We do not work on Saturdays. They also work on Saturdays. We tell them to do that, do this, so the workload is heavy on them. Here the chargesheets have been carefully scrutinized but the Magistrate may have forgotten some things. Justice KM Joseph ordered that the SLP is being dismissed. Later, Mukul Rohatgi brought to the attention of the court that the views expressed by the court may become an obstacle during the trial of this case. Justice Joseph commented that you don’t want any such suspicions.. That will not happen. It is needless to say that the Court below, when it takes up this case for trial, will hear it irrespective of the comments herein.