In a setback for the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, a CBI court on Friday turned down his plea seeking exemption from weekly personal appearances in the disproportionate assets case against him. The court admitted that Jagan might sway witnesses if shown leniency.
Turning down Jagan’s argument that his position as the Andhra Pradesh chief minister made weekly appearances in court both hard and expensive, the court agreed CBI’s contention that exception granted to Jagan would provide him with undesirable freedom to do whatever he wished, including influencing the witnesses. Furthermore, the premier investigative agency asserted that Jagan is number 1 accused in all the 11 charge-sheet filed by the agency and therefore should not be granted any mercy. The CBI also listed down the high court’s observations about charges on Jagan stating they were grave and serious in nature and affected the economies of the state and the country.
The cases pertain to investments made by several companies during the period when Jagan’s father YS Rajasekhar Reddy was chief minister between 2004 and 2009. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had accepted Rs 1,172 crore from various investors as a bribe and in an alleged quid pro quo, helped them in getting favours from the state government. The favours were mainly land, mining leases and licences for new industries. Jagan was arrested by the CBI on 27 May 2012 in connection with a disproportionate assets case. Jagan had served in prison for 15 months after his arrest in May 2012 in related cases.
Following the court order, Jagan Reddy will now have to appear in CBI court every Friday for hearing linked to the cases filed against him in 2011.