Hyderabad: YSR Congress chief and Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy has been sent to 14 days judicial custody till June 11 in connection with the disproportionate assets case. While sending Jagan to jail, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Hyderabad refused to grant the investigating agency his custody for interrogation. Jagan has been lodged in Chanchalguda jail in Hyderabad after Principal Judge A Pullaiah allowed his petition of seeking special prisoner status under Andhra Pradesh prison rules.
Jagan's 14-day judicial custody will also have a major impact on Andhra Pradesh politics as his party was expected to sweep the June 12 by-elections for one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats. With Jagan in jail till June 11, he would not be able to either campaign or strategise for YSR Congress candidates.
While seeking Jagan's custody the investigating agency had argued in the court that the Kadapa MP's explanations during three days of questioning were not satisfactory. After failing to get his custody the CBI is likely to appeal for police custody of Jagan in the Andhra High Court.
The CBI court in Hyderabad refused to grant the investigating agency Jagan Mohan\'s custody for interrogation.
The CBI wanted to interrogate Jagan over alleged hawala links and to confront him with the investigation documents. Jagan's counsel challenged his arrest saying it is in violation of trial court summons. He argued that the CBI has been trying to keep Jagan away from campaigning for the upcoming by-elections.
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.
"Investments to the tune of Rs 1234 crore have been made in his (Jagan's) companies and he himself got enriched by Rs 300 crore. There are certain traces and he did not cooperate on the same," senior CBI counsel Ashok Bhan alleged in the court.
"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 K V 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 as there were alleged investments to the tune of several crores in Sandur Power by Jagan. "Luxembourg-based Asian Infra is suspected owner of Sandur Power," the agency submitted.
There are similar transactions in the "exclusive knowledge" of Jagan which will be known only after getting his custody, the CBI counsel said "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 counsel alleged.
"Some investing companies got alloted thousands of acres of agriculture land in turn of investments after Jagan influenced his father," the agency further alleged. Further investigations need to be carried out on the role of Jagan with regard to the influence made on his father, the agency said.
The police have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 in Hyderabad and several other districts like Prakasam, Guntur, Khammam, Krishna and Jagan's home district Kadapa to prevent any untoward incident following his arrest. A large number of security personnel have been deployed outside the court and in sensitive areas of the state in view of a bandh called by the YSR Congress across Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy denied that Jagan's arrest is linked with the June 12 by-elections for one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday said that the national or state Congress had no connection with the investigation into the Jagan disproportionate assets case.
"Everyone is bringing in Central, state government or Sonia Gandhi for political leverage. State government is only confined to maintaining law and order in the state. Previously there have been cases where ministers have resigned because of CBI investigation. State government never had any connection with the investigation," the Chief Minister said.
"Congress party has given Jagan a lot of chances to become the leader that he is today. There is no link between his financial irregularities and the election. Jagan using YSR's death to get political leverage in these elections is not right. He should remember that all the chances that YSR got were because Sonia trusted in him and he worked faithfully for the Congress," he added.
Jagan's family members are on a dharna outside his Hyderabad residence, while his wife Bharathi Reddy is in the court.