NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to six Andhra Pradesh ministers and nine bureaucrats for their alleged role in issuing orders during the tenure of late chief minister Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy to favour the business interests of his son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
The notices were issued on a petition seeking a probe against the ministers and the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the case involving the alleged illegal assets of Jaganmohan Reddy.
Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, is already facing a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged illegal assets amassed during his father's tenure.
The apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Dipak Misra issued notices on a petition by Nellore-based advocate Sudhakar Reddy.
The notice to the CBI, the ministers and officers were issued with regard to 26 government orders issued during the tenure of YSR, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009.
The ministers include P. Sabita Indra Reddy (home), J. Geeta Reddy (major industries), Dharmana Prasada Rao (panchayati raj), Ponnala Lakshmaiah (information technology), Kanna Lakshminarayana (agriculture) and Mopidevi Venkatramna (excise).
The petitioner has challenged a Andhra Pradesh High Court order rejecting a probe.
A special CBI court in Hyderabad had also rejected the plea Dec 27, 2011, holding that the petition was more in the nature of a protest petition and not a complaint.
Sudhakar Reddy contended that the investigation into the disproportionate assets should not be confined to Jagan but should also include the role of the ministers and bureaucrats in facilitating his business dealings.
The CBI court in December rejected Sudhakar Reddy's petition seeking directions to the probe agency to register first information reports (FIRs) against the six ministers and 11 IAS officers. The high court upheld the CBI court's order.
The high court in August last year ordered a CBI probe against Jagan on a petition filed by a state minister and some leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
The agency subsequently booked Jagan and 72 others.
The YSR Congress party, floated by Jagan a year ago, has hailed the notice to the ministers. The party has been arguing that all the concerned ministers were equally responsible for the government orders.
The opposition, including the TDP, have demanded the resignation of the "tainted" ministers.
The petitioner contended that despite the FIR mentioning offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, of the over 70 accused named in it not a single was a public servant when the offences were committed.
The petition said the investigating agency was suggesting that "the late chief minister single-handedly created a massive web of corruption which involved several ministries and thousands of pages of governmental documentation".