YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy,arrested in a disproportionate assets case,was today sent to jail after being remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a CBI court which rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Principal Judge of CBI court A Pullaiah also dismissed CBI’s application seeking custody of Jagan for further interrogation. He was remanded to judicial custody till June 11.
Jagan’s family,who sat on a dharna protesting his arrest,alleged vendetta by Sonia Gandhi,a charge the strongly refuted by the Congress.
39-year-old Jagan was arrested last evening by the CBI in connection with the disproportionate assets case registered against him.
He is the fifth person to be arrested in the DA case. The others apprehended are his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy (the first person to be arrested and now out on bail),senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy,noted industralist Nimmagadda Prasad and AP’s Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao,who is presently under CBI custody.
CBI has charged Jagan under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy),420 (cheating),409 (criminal breach of trust) and 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The judge,who pronounced his order in a packed court,said,”It is quite clear that the accused (Jagan),being in a position of power being a MP and president of a political party has the stature and position to influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence.
“That’s the reason necessary to believe and he needs to be sent to judicial remand under section 309 CrPC.”
Jagan was shifted to Chanchalguda Central Prison here amidst heavy security. He has been accorded special prisoner status category after his counsel made a plea in this regard.
Earlier,Jagan who requested to speak with the judge in the court hall said,”I don’t know why they (CBI) booked a case and arrested me when I am in midst of campaigning.
“I was supposed to campaign (for the June 12 bypolls in the state) for my party candidates till June 10,who are contesting in 18 assembly and 1 Lok Sabha seats. The whole country is watching the by-polls.
Referring to investments in his Sakshi (Telugu daily and TV Channel),Jagan said it is the eighth largest circulated daily in the country and that each share of Rs 10 face value was sold at Rs 350. He said CBI was presenting one side of the coin.
On CBI’s allegation that there were alleged investments to the tune of Rs 140 crore in his businesses by a Mauritius- based firm,Jagan said the investments are actually Rs 120 crore.
“CBI says it is my money routed through hawala. Why would they buy Sakshi shares at premium when it is my money ? he said.
Jagan,who was kept overnight at the Dilkusha guest house,was produced before the CBi court at the Nampally courts complex at 10 AM. Jagan’s wife Bharati and his uncle Y S Vivekananda Reddy were present in the court.
Seeking 14 days police remand,senior CBI counsel Ashok Bhan alleged that Jagan “sent (bribe amount) abroad and got it reinvested in his business through hawala racket”.
“Jagan never cooperated in the investigation during the three-day questioning period in true sense,” the CBI counsel said.
“He cannot seek public sympathy. He has deprived poor people of their money (public money and properties) and caused them irreparable loss and in turn enriched himself by dubious mechanism by sending the funds abroad and getting the same invested in his companies,” the counsel alleged.
He said,”It is a white collar crime committed by 74 accused,including Jagan,and so far charge sheets have been filed against 24 accused.
All the accused in custody (industrialist N Prasad,senior bureaucrat KV Brahmananda Reddy) have revealed certain glaring facts about the case and we have to confront Jagan on the information provided,” the CBI counsel claimed.
CBI has sent Letters Rogatory to Mauritius and Luxembourg to get more information on his investments.
“Jagan got enriched enormously in a short span of four years after influencing his father Rajashekhar Reddy,the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh,in getting ill gotten money into his own firms from investors who doled out favours as part of quid pro quo,” the CBI counsel alleged.
“Some investing companies got alloted thousands of acres of agriculture land in turn of investments after Jagan influenced his father,” the agency said.
Referring to VANPIC project,the CBI counsel claimed a unilateral decision was taken on June 29,2008 at CM’s camp office to provide over 28,000 acre land to industrial corridors and ports.
Later the cabinet approved it and concessional agreements were also signed.
Within two weeks the beneficiary companies invested Rs 350 crore in Jagan’s companies,he contended.
Similarly,some cement companies and other suitcase companies made investments,as part of quid-pro-quo transactions.
“Further investigations need to be carried out on the role of Jagan with regard to the influence made on his father,the agency said,adding “No witness was coming forward out of fear (of Jagan),but following his arrest they can appear before CBI.’
Jagan’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi contended that his arrest itself was illegal.
“The arrest is illegal when his anticipatory bail plea was pending. It is an abuse of law. It is an attempt to stop him from campaigning for the by-polls,” he said.
Earlier,there was mild commotion in the court hall in view of presence of a large number of lawyers and journalists.
The judge asked those having cases in the court to remain inside and others to go out,but the lawyers refused to do so after which the judge went back to his chambers.
After a few minutes,he returned and asked everyone to maintain silence to enable him hear the arguments.