Alleged liquor scam case: Andhra HC hears bail pleas of Chandrababu Naidu, Kollu Ravindra

The CID has registered the case alleging that the decision of the previous government to remove the privilege fee for a license had resulted in a huge loss to the government exchequer.
Andhra Pradesh High Court
Andhra Pradesh High Court

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday heard the arguments on the anticipatory bail petitions filed by former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and former Excise Minister Kollu Ravindra, who were accused in the case registered by the CID in the alleged liquor scam during the previous TDP government.

The CID has registered the case alleging that the decision of the previous government to remove the privilege fee for a license had resulted in a huge loss to the government exchequer, based on a complaint filed by AP Beverages Corporation Limited Managing Director Vasudev Reddy.

Senior counsel Nagamuttu, appearing on behalf of Naidu, said the then government got the proposal to remove the privilege fee for liquor shop licenses from the excise commissioner, and the then government took the decision to scrap the fee for 2015-17. The proposal also got the cabinet nod and also the consent of the State Assembly.

Nagamuttu further said the then Opposition Leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the YSRC MLAS were present in the Assembly when the House discussed the issue of removing the privilege fee, but they did not oppose it.

The proposal from the Excise Commissioner had passed through various levels and came to the minister concerned. He argued that there cannot be a judicial review on a matter that got the approval of the cabinet.

Ravindra’s counsel Posani Venkateswarlu argued as to why the present government did not reimpose the privilege fee if it caused a loss to the State exchequer. The court posted the matter for hearing of CID’s arguments on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the accused No. 1 in the case S Srinaresh, the then Excise Commissioner filed an anticipatory bail plea. The court asked the CID to file a counter and posted the matter for hearing on November 28.

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