VIJAYAWADA: The Centre on Wednesday told Hyderabad High Court that it was examining the possibility of conducting a probe by National Investigating Agency (NIA) into the attack on Leader of the Opposition and YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy that took place at Visakhapatnam International Airport on October 25. The Centre also appealed to the court to grant it some time to take a decision on it.
Taking the submission made by the assistant solicitor general K Lakshman on behalf of the Centre into consideration, the bench directed the Centre not to disclose if it has taken a decision on the above and submit such a decision in a sealed cover before the court.
Meanwhile, the ongoing investigation into the attack on the YSRC chief by the AP police could be continued, the bench noted.
The bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice SV Bhatt gave this ruling while considering the petition by Jagan seeking a probe by any appropriate independent agency not under the control of the State government.
Jagan also filed an additional affidavit seeking directions to the Centre for conducting a comprehensive investigation into the incident. He also sought directions to the Andhra Pradesh government to forthwith forward the case report and information to the Centre for the purpose. Central agencies such as the NIA have got the power to probe such incidents, he added. When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, senior counsel D Prakash Reddy, representing Jagan, said that there was a need for the AP government to send a report to the Centre on the said incident since it comes under the purview of the NIA Act. Based on such a report, the Centre would take a decision on the NIA probe. However, the State has not sent any report to the Centre, he said.
On the other hand, AP advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas said that the incident does not come under Section 3A of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982. Therefore, there was no need for NIA probe when an attack takes place on a person. The NIA will come into the picture only if there was any violation of the Act, meant for the safety of the airport. Besides, it was not mandatory to send a report to the Centre by the State government. The Centre could suo moto get the information from other sources, he added.
At this stage, ASG Lakshman said as per the NIA Act, it was mandatory to send the report by the State government to the Centre. So far, no report was received by the Ministry of Home Affairs, he added.
The bench reminded that the Centre has already received some information through the CISF. The Centre could take a decision based on such an information. Later, the bench adjourned the case to December 14 for further hearing.