High court stays probe against AP chief minister in liquor scam


The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday stayed a lower court’s order directing the Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe allegations of corruption against Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the procurement of liquor from private distilleries during 1997-2000.

Principal Special Judge for Special Police Establishment and Anti-Corruption Bureau Cases S Anantasayana Prasad had on Friday admitted a complaint against Naidu and others alleging irregularities in the purchase of liquor by the state-owned AP Beverages Corporation.

The complaint was filed by advocate N Krishna Kumar Goud, who is also the joint convener of the AP Congress Legal Cell, alleging criminal conspiracy and breach of trust by public servants.

Goud has alleged that Naidu, along with others, conferred pecuniary advantage to a few big distilleries between 1997 and 2000 by paying excess amount to the tune of Rs 550 crore for the purchase of liquor.

Seeking action under the Prevention of Corruption Act, he alleged that the AP Beverages Corporation had purchased liquor from some leading distilleries at rates almost double those prevailing in neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Prasad had directed the director-general of the ACB to investigate and submit a report by January 29.

The state government challenged the directive in the high court on the ground that the allegations were general in nature and no specific charges had been brought against Naidu.

The hearing will continue, in the high court, on Tuesday.

By Syed Amin Jafri

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