Hyderabad, June 2: Andhra Pradesh High Court today rejected Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s plea for bail in an assets case and sent him to CBI custody till June 7, as the arrested MP completed his transformation from crown prince to Enemy No. 1.
“Jagan has the capacity and muscle to threaten and terrorise witnesses and also tamper with evidence, and bail would water down all efforts to put a lid on corruption in public office,” the CBI counsel had yesterday told the court.
The court rejected Jagan’splea to scrap the disproportionate assets case against him.
Jagan, arrested on May 27, had earlier been remanded in judicial custody till June 11.
Almost all ministers of the ruling Congress — the party of his late father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy who had helmed it back to power for a second term — slammed Jagan, with chief minister Kiran Reddy saying the Kadapa MP would be “jailed for 14 years” for his alleged financial crimes.
The Opposition Telugu Desam Party listed all the sections Jagan has been booked under and said the MP could be sent to prison for over 30 years.
The court threw out Jagan’s plea to let him out on bail so he could campaign for the coming June 12 by-elections to 18 Assembly constituencies and one parliamentary seat.
The campaign plea had, however, worked for evangelist K.A. Paul, a murder suspect who had requested bail to canvass for his Praja Shanti party and got the relief on Tuesday from a lower court.
The CBI yesterday told the high court further interrogation of Jagan was required as the YSR Congress leader was either evading replies to critical questions on alleged illegal foreign transactions or blaming his accountant.
“If this court decides to hand over Jagan to CBI custody, please provide him with adequate safeguards,” Jagan’s counsel Ranjit Kumar said.
What appears to have worked against Jagan is the point Raval raised that witnesses who had earlier deposed before the CBI and a magistrate were now either turning hostile or being evasive because of Jagan’s influence. It has already happened in the case of three witnesses, he claimed.
Another factor is the bribe scandal involving a CBI judge, who last month gave bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy in an illegal mining case.