Apex court rejects Jagan’s plea against CBI probe (Lead)

August 24th, 2011 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a petition of YSR Congress Party chief Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register a case and probe his assets.

A bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Deepak Verma, while keeping the question of law open, declined to interfere with the high court order.

Appearing for Jagan as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly called, counsel Mukul Rohtagi said the high court ordered the registration of first information report (FIR) and consequent investigation without giving his client the CBI report on its preliminary investigation.

The high court, by its order of Aug 10, 2011, directed the CBI to register a case and investigate the assets of Jaganmohan Reddy, which had allegedly swelled manifold from 2004 onward when his father, the late Y.S Rajshekhar Reddy, was the chief minister of the state.

The high court order was passed in the wake of a petition by Andhra Pradesh Textile Minister P.Shankar Rao and Telugu Desam Party leader K. Yerran Naidu.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who also appeared for Jaganmohan Reddy, told the apex court that his client was being targeted due to political vendetta.

Referring to an earlier judgment of the apex court, Jethmalani said the PIL could not be resorted to by the politicians to agitate their matter before the court. “The PIL should not be allowed to be used and abused by the politicians,” he told the court.

Assailing the high court order, Rohtagi said the court opened, perused and re-sealed the CBI report on its preliminary inquiry but did not give a copy of it same to Jaganmohan Reddy.

Asserting that the action of the high court was in violation of the principle of natural justice, Rohtagi said after perusing and re-sealing the report, the high court said that it did not rely on it while passing the order directing the CBI to register case and conduct investigation.

The high court did go on the basis of the material in the petition by Shankar Rao and Yerran Naidu but not what Jaganmohan had said in his reply to the petition.

Appearing for Shankar Rao and Yerran Naidu, counsel A.K.Ganguli said the high court did open the CBI report and re-seal it but did not see it.

He said the high court resealed the CBI report and did not give its copy to Jaganmohan because several respondents before the high court pleaded against making it public as it could dent their reputation.

Ganguli rebutted the contention that the high court, before passing the Aug 10 order, had not gone through the reply filed by Jaganmohan Reddy. The high court had gone into every aspect of the matter, including exponential growth in the assets of Jaganmohan Reddy and his companies, he said.

He said that any vacation of the Aug 10 order would adversely affect the investigations already carried out and seizures made by the CBI in pursuance of the high court order.

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