Court orders CBI probe into Jagan?s assets

August 10th, 2011 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 10 (IANS) In a major setback to YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh High Court Wednesday ordered a full-fledged CBI probe into his alleged illegal assets.

Chief Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru and Justice Vilas V. Afzalpurkar asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a criminal case and take up investigations under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act against all those who made huge investments into his businesses.

The CBI will find out whether companies and individuals made investments into Jagati publications, India Television and other firms owned by Jaganmohan Reddy in order to get favours from the state government.

The court, which had reserved the orders Aug 4, observed there was a prima facie case for a probe. It, however, did not set any time frame for the investigation.

In a related case, the high court directed the CBI to conduct afull-fledged inquiry into the alleged irregularities of Dubai-based Emaar properties in developing a real estate project in Hyderabad.

The petitioners alleged that the irregularities caused massive losses to state exchequer and that alleged kickbacks in the deal were pumped into Jagan’s businesses.

The court gave the orders after going through reports of preliminary investigations by the CBI and after hearing the arguments of petitioners in both cases.

The petitioners, including state minister Shankar Rao, Telugu Desam Party leaders K. Yerran Naidu and others, alleged that Jagan, as Jaganmohan Reddy is known, amassed huge wealth as companies allegedly favoured by his father and then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy pumped big money into his companies.

It was on the basis of a letter by Shankar Rao as a state legislator in November 2010 that the court took up the hearing in the case.

Rao alleged that Jagan was worth Rs.11 lakh prior to 2004 but now has assets worth Rs.43,000 crore. He sought a probe by the CBI.

Three leaders of TDP, including Yerran Naidu, and a lawyer from Kadapa, K. K. Sherwani, also filed petitions seeking CBI probe.

Jagan’s counsel Nageshwara Rao told reporters outside the court that the court dismissed the petition of Sherwani.

During the hearing, Jagan’s counsels termed as “wild” allegations levelled by the petitioners and argued that there was no case for a CBI probe.

The counsels of the Kadapa MP called the petitions politically motivated, and alleged that the state government was hounding his client.

The court on July 12 ordered preliminary investigations by the CBI to satisfy itself if a case existed for booking FIR or ordering an inquiry. The CBI submitted to the court two reports in sealed covers.

The petitioners alleged that investments were made into Jagan’s companies in violation of various laws and as quid pro quo for the lands allotted and other favours made by his father to the investors.

YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was popularly known, was chief minister from 2004 to 2009. He died in a helicopter crash on Sep 2, 2009.

Jagan, said to be the richest MP, quit the Congress party in November last year and floated the YSR Congress early this year. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in May this year.

Jagan had declared assets worth Rs.365 crore while filing nominations for the by-election. In 2009, he declared assets of Rs.77 crore.

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