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Poachgate only 2nd instance of probe by sitting Telangana HC judge | Hyderabad News

HYDERABAD: The Telangana high court order bringing the Poachgate SIT probe under Justice B Vijaysen Reddy is only the second instance in the past 25 years since 1997 wherein a sitting high court judge has been appointed to monitor an investigation.
On Wednesday, a bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice CV Bhaskar Reddy insulated the SIT probe from any external influences and directed the SIT chief to report only to Justice Vijaysen and not to any political or executive authority. The SIT was also barred from divulging details to media or any political authority.
Though Justice Vijaysen may not be heading a dedicated commission of inquiry (CoI), in the current context he is more powerful than a CoI as he will have the entire SIT comprising its chief CV Anand (also the city police commissioner) and six officers under his direct command. Anand has to submit the first report on Nov. 29.
While in the current instance it is a direct court appointment, in 1997 it was the state which entrusted the Yeleru land compensation scam probe to then AP HC sitting judge Justice BK Somasekhara. But the job was minus the cover given to Justice Vijaysen by the HC now and, consequently, Justice Somasekhara never got support from the state which allegedly thwarted the CID and the judge from probing political angle.
The Yeleru scam involved fraudulent compensation claims for farmers hit by a 100-km channel built to divert Godavari to the balancing reservoir of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in the late eighties. Fake applications filed in connivance with government insiders sought enhanced compensation and the state too granted it.
But the amount never reached the original farmers. After the scam came to light, the accused and state got the Justice Somasekhara CoI quashed twice (1999 & 2005) on technical grounds. The challenge to CoI being quashed is pending in SC.



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