CBI told to probe into Jagan's wealth
He amassed Rs 43k crore in six yrs, claims petition
In a blow to the political future of Kadapa MP and YSR Congress Party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday ordered a thorough investigation by the CBI into his wealth allegedly amassed during the tenure of his father Y S Rajasekhar Reddy as chief minister.
The verdict by a two-member division bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru and Justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar, came in the wake of the two preliminary reports submitted by the CBI on the petitions filed by senior state Congress minister P Shankar Rao and Telugu Desam Party leader Yerran Naidu.
The Bench denied that it had considered any politically motivated petition. It had earlier sought an preliminary enquiry by the CBI in this regard last month. The court said it had come to the conclusion that there was prima facie evidence against Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, on the basis of preliminary report submitted by the CBI and the affidavits submitted by certain investors in the matter.
The petitioners had alleged that Jaganmohan Reddy had amassed wealth when Rajasekhara Reddy was chief minister during 2004-09. They alleged that YSR had pressured several companies to invest in his businesses in return for land allotments, mining leases and other such favours from the then government.
The court in July directed the CBI to file a preliminary report into the allegations within two weeks. The CBI report was submitted in a sealed cover to the court on July 26. On August 4, the Bench opened the sealed cover containing two reports filed by the CBI, after conducting a preliminary inquiry into the assets of the Kadapa MP. The CBI had questioned heads of nearly 25 of the 50-odd companies besides the representatives of the Jagan’s media house – Jagati Publishing Company and other enterprises like Sandur Power.
The CBI had also questioned some senior IAS officers who were involved in land allocations and granting of other governmental benefits to all those who had invested in Jagan’s companies .
In his affidavit before the court, Congress minister P Shankar Rao had alleged that Jaganmohan had declared an income of only Rs 11 lakh in 2004, but had amassed over Rs 43,000 crore in the six years of his father’s tenure as the state chief minister.
The court heard the petitioners arguments for four days, last week, on their demand for a CBI probe into the alleged disproportionate wealth of Jagan and posted the case for final judgment on August 10.
Speaking to reporters on the court premises, after the verdict, counsel of petitioners J Ravi Shankar said the bench had directed the CBI to also investigate the role of government officials involved in the misuse of power and encouraging certain firms to invest in Jagan’s companies.
Meanwhile, Gattu Ramachandra Rao, YSR Congress party spokesman, described the entire exercise as an arm- twisting technique of the ruling Congress to force Jagan to surrender.
Jagan, who was in Pulivendula on Wednesday was briefed by his party colleagues on the verdict and its ramifications.