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Govt to pay ministers’ legal expenses

Published: 08th July 2012 10:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2012 10:40 AM   |  A+A-

The government on Saturday decided to pay the legal expenses of five ministers who have been served notices by the Supreme Court, which is hearing a public interest litigation questioning 26 controversial GOs issued by them under the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy regime.

The orders allegedly helped Rajasekhara Reddy’s son Jagan Mohan Reddy raise quid pro quo investment in his media companies.

The five ministers are Dharmana Prasada Rao (roads and buildings), P Sabita Indra Reddy (home), Kanna Lakshminarayana (agriculture), J Geetha Reddy (major industries) and Ponnala Lakshmaiah (information technology).

They will get legal expenses if they have engaged an advocate to represent them in the Supreme Court.

The government initially issued orders vouching to pay the legal expenses of four of them, leaving out Lakshmaiah, who reportedly leaked the discrepancy to the media.

The government has promised that he too will be included in a modified order later.

A sixth politician facing a Supreme Court notice, Mopidevi Venkataramana, is in jail, having resigned as minister.

Sources said the government is assessing whether it is possible to defray the costs of a former minister too.

Soon after they received their notices, the six leaders, including Venkataramana, then in the ministry, wrote to the goverment demanding that their costs be reimbursed because they were only defending actions taken while in the government.

The General Administration Department (GAD) on Saturday agreed to that demand Saturday, but refused to provide legal assistance as also sought by them.

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