SC stays quashing of FIR against Telangana education minister

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed a Telangana High Court order which quashed a 2017 FIR lodged against Telangana Education Minister Audimulapu Suresh and his civil servant wife T.N. Vijayalakshmi, in an alleged disproportionate assets case.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the CBI, has submitted before the top court that in breach of the well-settled principles which have been laid down by it, the single-judge bench of the High Court has quashed an FIR in a case involving allegations of the possession of disproportionate assets, under Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 read with Section 13(2) and Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. The CBI has moved the top court challenging the High Court order.

A bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah noted that it has been urged that the single-judge bench, in its February 11 order, launched impermissibly into a detailed inquiry, more akin to a trial. The bench issued notice to the couple on CBI’s petition.

“Issue notice, returnable in six weeks,” said the bench. According to the top court order, the minister and his wife would continue to face the investigation in the matter. The couple has earlier moved the High Court, which observed that the investigation into the matter is unsustainable.

“Pending further orders, there shall be a stay of the operation of the impugned judgment and order of the High Court of Telangana dated February 11, 2020..,” said the top court.

The CBI’s ACB Chennai registered an FIR on September 20, 2017 against 1992-batch IRS officer Vijayalakshmi and former civil servant-turned-politician YSRCP MLA Suresh.

The investigating agency had alleged the couple have acquired assets to the tune of Rs 5,95,58,322 against the income of Rs 4,84,76,630 during check period of April 1, 2010 to February 29, 2016. The CBI has alleged the difference in the income is 22.86 per cent more than the known sources of income.

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