YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy today failed to get any reprieve from the Andhra Pradesh High Court which directed that he be in CBI custody for five days for further questioning in an alleged disproportionate assets case.
The High Court also dismissed Jagan’s petition seeking directions to declare his arrest as illegal.
Justice B Chandra Kumar issued orders that the CBI can question Jagan from June 3 to 7. After three days of intense grilling,Jagan was arrested by the CBI on May 27 and the next day the CBI court sent him to judicial custody till June 11. He is now lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Jail.
“When highly influential persons are involved in the case,CBI,as part of its investigation,has a right to take the accused into custody and question them,” Justice Chandra Kumar said while pronouncing the order.
CBI had sought Jagan’s custody for 10 days to question him in detail over the investments in his companies and other aspects.
According to the FIR filed,Jagati Publications which runs Sakshi newspaper accumulated loss of Rs 350 crore in four years after incorporation. It got investments of Rs 1,246 crore.
The CBI has so far filed three chargesheets in the case and said it will file some more as the investigation proceeds.
It has charged Jagan and his father,former chief minister Y S R Reddy with hatching a conspiracy to defraud the government.
According to CBI,Jagan influenced his father,who was then the CM,in doling out favours to certain investors who pumped in several crores into Jagan’s businesses as a quid pro quo arrangement.
Some routing of funds have been detected from tax havens like Mauritius and Isle of Man,indicating that there were quid pro quo investments in his TV channel and publication by some companies which were given land in the much sought after Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Park,the agency said.
The CBI Special Court has taken cognizance of the chargesheets and issued summons to all the accused including Jagan and Vijay Sai Reddy.
Jagan is the fifth person to be arrested in the disproportionate assets 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.
A CBI court yesterday dismissed Jagan’s petition for interim bail. He had sought bail at least till June 10 so that he could campaign for the June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats.
The investigating agency can take the custody of Jagan and the accused can be questioned between 10.30 am to 5 pm,the order said.
Whatever procedure was applied when Vijaya Sai Reddy was questioned when he was in CBI custody,same procedure has to be followed in case of Jagan also,the High Court said.
Vijaya Sai Reddy who is currently on bail was earlier given CBI custody after he was arrested in January.
The CBI registered FIR against Jagan and 74 others on August 17,2011 in the case of illegal assets and alleged flow of illegal investments into his business empire and registered cases under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy),420 (cheating),409 (criminal breach of trust) and 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code,besides Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.