Andhra Pradesh HC posts Kollu’s anticipatory bail plea in liquor policy case to November 20
Counsel representing Ravindra said AP Beverages Corporation Managing Director Vasudev Reddy does not have the power to review the policy decision of a government.
VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday posted the further hearing of the anticipatory bail plea of former minister Kollu Ravindra in the liquor policy case filed by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) to November 20. Senior counsel Posani Venkateswarlu, representing Ravindra, said AP State Beverages Corporation Limited Managing Director Vasudev Reddy does not have the power to review the policy decision of a government. The case was filed on a complaint by Vasudev Reddy.
Posani said the then government had taken a policy decision removing privilege fee to wine shops during 2015-17 and the Cabinet had also decided allowing SPY Agros to pay the licence fee in instalments. Posani said the decision was not taken solely by the petitioner.Posani said the name of the petitioner was not mentioned in the complaint lodged by Vasudev Reddy and Ravindra’s name was included in the case by the investigating officer at the behest of some politicians.
Posani informed the court that Ravindra served as Excise minister from 2014 to 2017. The present government had brought in a new excise policy in 2019 and the complainant had lodged a complaint eight years after the previous government formulated the excise policy.Posani brought to the notice of the court that the complainant had not mentioned the reasons for the delay in filing the complaint.He also said all the documents pertaining to the case have been confiscated by the investigating agency and the petitioner is cooperating with the investigation and sought anticipatory bail.
Advocate General S Sriram said the previous government took decisions to favour a couple of liquor companies and this had caused a loss of Rs 1,500 crore to the State exchequer.Sriram said the investigation is in a preliminary stage and the privilege fee was removed for wine shops without the approval of the cabinet.Justice T Mallikarjuna Rao posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.