In a major relief to YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy, a special court in Hyderabad dismissed a petition by the CBI on Friday, that sought to cancel the Andhra Pradesh Opposition leader’s bail.
The CBI had filed the petition in the last week of March, seeking to cancel Jagan’s bail in the disproportionate assets case.
The CBI had sought to cancel his bail on the grounds that he could influence witnesses, citing an interview by former Chief Secretary Ramakanth Reddy to Sakshi TV, where he says he lacks confidence in the agency’s investigation in the DA case.
There was tension on the premises of the Nampally court, as Jagan, along with Rajya Sabha MP Vijayasai Reddy, and other accused in the case reached by 11am.
If the court had ruled in favour of the CBI, it would have meant Jagan’s return to jail.
After a short session, the court delivered its verdict. It also said that the next hearing for the DA case would be on June 9.
As the CBI moved the court in March, the latter had granted Jagan time until April 7, to file a counter petition.
In his defence, Jagan’s advocates had argued that the politician was not involved in deciding the content of the channel, and said that all programming was decided by an editorial board in Sakshi TV, comprising journalists.
Jagan was arrested in May 2012 in the DA case when he was an MP.
In 2013, the special CBI court had granted conditional bail to Jagan, after he spent 16 months in jail.
In the second week of February, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a notice to take possession of the properties of Jagan’s companies, along with Lotus Pond, his house in Banjara Hills and the building which serves as the party headquarters.
Following this, Jagan’s lawyers moved the Hyderabad High Court, which directed the ED and the companies of Jagan, to approach the appellate tribunal.
The ED’s notice had come after it managed to attach assets worth over Rs 749 crore, including Jagan’s palatial house in Hyderabad, in June last year, in connection with a money laundering probe against him.
These assets owned by various group companies of the Andhra Pradesh opposition leader, included movable properties worth Rs 344.38 crore and immovable ones worth Rs 404.72 crore.
The chargesheet said that Jaganmohan Reddy, in criminal conspiracy with others, allotted a mining lease to Bharathi Cement Corporation Private Limited illegally and received bribes from various persons/companies in the guise of investments in his group companies as ‘quid pro quo’ for undue favours granted to them by the Andhra Pradesh government, when Jagan’s father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister.
The ED said its investigations revealed that Jaganmohan Reddy laundered the proceeds of crime through his group companies Sandur Power, Classic Realty, Silicon Builders, Saraswati Power and Industries and 10 other companies in the form of investments, purchase of movable and immovable properties and third party payments etc.
The ED had already attached assets worth over Rs 1,000 crore in the overall PMLA cases.
The allegations against Jagan relate to the period 2004-2009.