Telangana HC quashes CBI chargesheet on VANPIC

In a sensational ruling, the Telangana High Court on Thursday struck down the chargesheet filed by the CBI

Telangana HC quashes CBI chargesheet on VANPIC

HYDERABAD: In a sensational ruling, the Telangana High Court on Thursday struck down the chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Industrial Corridor (VANPIC) Projects Private Limited case. After hearing a quash petition filed by VANPIC, the high court ruled in favour of the private company which provides huge relief to the company and its promoter Nimmagadda Prasad.

Significantly, the high court verdict is also being seen as a shot in the arm for all the other accused in the case. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is the prime accused in the quid pro quo investments case registered by the CBI against VANPIC.

The CBI case pertained to the allotment of lands meant for the establishment of the VANPIC industrial corridor. The Andhra Pradesh government made the land allotments when late YS Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of the then undivided state. The lands allotted for the project fall under Guntur and Prakasam districts.

The high court, while concurring with the VANPIC argument, ruled that the CBI chargesheet did not qualify to be taken up for hearing. The high court striking down the CBI chargesheet is likely to provide a momentum shift and have its bearing on the entire gamut of cases that were registered against YS Jaganmohan Reddy, collectively referred to as 'disproportionate assets' cases.

It is immediately not clear if the CBI, stung by the verdict, has any plans to file an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the high court ruling.

The CBI had in the past filed the VANPIC case chargesheet in the CBI Special Court here. The company subsequently approached the Telangana high court with the quash petition challenging the central agency's action.

It is also being believed that a majority of the legal hurdles that have hampered the establishment of the industrial corridor so far would be effectively removed with the latest ruling. VANPIC promoter Nimmagadda Prasad has been waging the legal battle in the case for well over a decade now. He also spent a long time in prison following his arrest in one of the disproportionate assets cases involving YS Jagan.

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