On Tuesday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed an FIR registered in the Amaravathi land scam case. The Bench opined that the petitioners had purchased the land in question by exercising their constitutional and legal right. The Court further opined that the petitioners acquired the property from sellers who had willingly sold the land to the petitioners for a valid consideration and had registered sales deeds as well.
The Court remarked that such private transactions could not be criminalised and there is no criminal liability on the petitioners. Therefore they cannot be prosecuted for crimes they are accused of.
As per the Court, the concept of the offence of insider trading is related to buying and selling of stocks in the stock market and cannot be equated to offences under the Indian Penal Code and therefore cannot be r/w Section 420 of IPC. as the offence is unrelated to offences under IPC, the offence cannot be applied to facts of the instant case.
According to the prosecution, the petitioners had inside knowledge that Amravati will be chosen as the capital after Andhra Pradesh’s division. Therefore the petitioners bought land in Amravati before the official announcement for building capital in Amravati.
The opinion of the Court
Hon’ble Court opined that the petitioners were not obligated to inform the sellers about latent advantages of buying the land in Amravati. The Court held that sellers of land did not sustain any loss, and there was no element of criminality in the transaction.
After going through the contentions, the Court ruled that no case has been made out by the prosecution for any offences u/s 406,409,420 and 120-B of IPC.
In the instant case, the Court invoked its inherent powers u/s 482 of CrPC to quash the FIR.