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The Andhra Pradesh High Court Monday admitted for hearing a public interest litigation seeking a comprehensive probe into the liquor mafia allegedly involving politicians and bureaucrats.

The court directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to submit in a sealed cover a report on the progress it made in the investigations so far and adjourned the hearing for three weeks. The court also issued notice to the state government.

The PIL filed by a freedom fighter alleged that ACB is working under political pressure and not taking action against the ministers allegedly involved in the liquor syndicates. The petitioner sought a comprehensive probe under the supervision of the judiciary.

Meanwhile, opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) Friday urged Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to sack ministers allegedly involved in the liquor syndicate.

A delegation led by TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu met the governor and submitted a memorandum demanding action against the tainted ministers. “We will continue our protest till the chief minister drops corrupt ministers from his cabinet,” the former chief minister told reporters.

Earlier, the issue once again rocked the state assembly, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house for the day. No business could take place in the house as TDP members stalled the proceedings demanding action against the tainted ministers.

Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the house for the day as the two adjournments failed to restore order in the house.

The Congress government rejected the TDP demand, saying the issue was last week debated in the house.

The government had told the house last Friday that ACB probe into the syndicate was on. It ruled out action against the ministers on the basis of allegations and statements made by the accused.

A liquor trader had alleged that he paid Rs.10 lakh bribe to minister for excise Mopidevi Venkatramna.

The ACB raids during the last couple of moths revealed that syndicates involving politicians, excise officials and even some media persons are allowing liquor traders to sell liquor above the maximum retail price and commit other irregularities.



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