In a big blow to Andhra Pradesh police chief V Dinesh Reddy, the Supreme Court today ordered CBI probe against him for allegedly amassing disproportionate assets along with his wife.
The apex court slammed the state government for not conducting any probe against Reddy when copy of a complaint against him was forwarded by the Centre saying "our conscious was shocked" by the manner the state government abandoned the allegation against its top cop.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde directed the CBI to conduct the probe and file status report within four weeks.
"The appeals are disposed of directing the CBI to investigate the matter against V Dinesh Reddy on the allegations of acquiring the disproportionate assets," the bench said while passing order on a plea of Umesh Kumar, an IPS officer who filed the complaint against the DGP by allegedly forging the signature of an MP.
The bench said probe is needed on the complaint even though it may be "forged or fabricated" as there was substance in the allegation levelled against Reddy.
It said, "Even though the complaint was bogus, however, the sale deeds annexed along with the same though illegally collected by someone, have not been found to be fabricated documents".
"It becomes evident that in case there is some substance in the allegations and material exists to substantiate the complicity of the applicant (Reddy), the case is to be examined in its full conspectus and the proceedings should not be quashed only on the ground that the same had been initiated with mala fides to wreak vengeance or to achieve an ulterior goal," the bench said.
"Facts of the case warranted some enquiry in respect of the allegations of acquiring huge properties by Reddy. The State took the courage to flout the order of the Central Government and did not look into the contents of the complaint and misdirected the enquiry against Umesh Kumar. In such a fact-situation, this court would not fail in its duty to direct the enquiry in those allegations," it said.
In this case, a complaint was filed before Home Ministry in April 2011 purportedly written by an MP, M A Khan asking for an enquiry against Reddy. A large number of documents were annexed in support of the allegations.
The court noted that the complaint was then forwarded to the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh who did not take any action to find out the authenticity of the allegation. It was later found out that the signature of Khan was forged and a case was registered against Kumar and other persons.
"The complaint may be forged or fabricated, but it is nobody’s case that the copies of sale deeds annexed along with the said complaint were not genuine. While issuing direction to hold inquiry/investigation as to who had fabricated the said complaint and forged the signatures of M A Khan, the allegations of acquiring properties by Reddy have been abandoned and unattended altogether," the court said.
During the hearing in the case, the apex court had questioned the state government on why probe into the allegations was not done but the state was "evasive" in its response.
"In view of the above, we have no hesitation to hold that the Chief Secretary had the audacity not to ensure the compliance of the order of this court dated July 24, 2013, and we have no words to express our anguish and condemn the attitude adopted by him.
"More so, holding such a responsible post in the State, he must have some sense of responsibility and should have been aware of what are the minimum requirements of law, and even if he did not know he could have consulted any law officer of the State before filing the undated affidavit," the bench said while noting that proper affidavit was signed by him.
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