CBI court dismisses Jagan’s plea for one joint trial

Hyderabad, April 27 (IANS) In a setback to YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in the disproportionate assets case, the CBI special court Saturday dismissed his plea for joint trial by clubbing together all the charge sheets.

The court, which had reserved its orders on April 24, pronounced them Saturday, dismissing the memos of both the MP and his auditor Vijay Sai Reddy, who wanted postponement of framing of charges in the case till the completion of the investigation and that the court treat the fifth charge sheet filed on April 8 as the final charge sheet.

Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, had opposed separate trial of the charge sheets filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Taking objection to the CBI move to file fifth charge sheet early this month, the son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had also stated that the investigating agency was not following the undertaking its counsel gave to Supreme Court that a final charge sheet would be filed with respect to the seven aspects of the case under investigation.

Jagan’s counsel Sushil Kumar argued that CBI was disobeying the Supreme Court order by filing separate charge sheets to keep Jagan in jail for indefinite period with a political motive.

The CBI, however, argued that Jagan and Vijay Sai Reddy misinterpreted Supreme Court orders of October last year. While opposing the memos, the agency had told the court that investigations required multiple charge sheets because it was a planned crime carried over a staggered time-frame.

Additional Solicitor General Ashok Bhan had also argued that the offences forming part of the crime were distinct in nature and the accused had to account to law for each offence. He clarified that the Supreme Court never directed the CBI to file one final charge sheet.

The CBI also hinted that it may file one or more charge sheets with regard to three aspects in which the investigations were completed. It also informed the court that investigations were on into three other aspects.

The investigating agency has charged Jagan with conspiring his father and then chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy to receive bribes in the form of investments into his companies from the corporate beneficiaries. It claimed that the money reached Jagan through a quid pro quo arrangement.

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