Hearing put off on CBI plea for ex-Andhra ministers’ custody

Hyderabad, June 12 (IANS) A CBI special court Wednesday adjourned to June 19 the hearing on a CBI petition seeking judicial custody of former Andhra Pradesh ministers Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao in quid pro quo investments case involving YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted in writing to the court the statements made by the two ministers before media.

The agency had given to the court a CD containing news clippings related to their remarks, alleging that these could influence the investigations.

The court adjourned the hearing by a week after the lawyers of the two former ministers sought time to submit their counter replies on the CBI petition.

The CBI, while citing the two ministers’ statements, told the court that they could influence witnesses if not taken into judicial custody.

Sabitha resigned as home minister and Dharmana as roads and buildings minister last month after the CBI named them as accused in the case.

The court Wednesday also dismissed bail petition of K.V. Brahmananda Reddy, an accused in the case.

The senior Indian Railway Accounts Service officer, Brahmananda Reddy, was arrested last year. He was the special secretary in the investments and infrastructure department in the government of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Jaganmohan Reddy.

According to the CBI, Brahmananda Reddy had played a key role in signing the concession agreement for land allotment to VANPIC, a company promoted by industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, who is also currently in judicial custody.

The CBI has so far filed five chargesheets in the case, relating to alleged quid pro quo investment deals signed during Rajasekhara Reddy’s regime. It believes the government granted favours to companies which made investments into Jaganmohan Reddy’s business.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court Wednesday admitted a petition for hearing which has challenged the transfer of CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshminarayana.

The petitioner has sought direction to the centre to withdraw transfer of the officer as this could impact the investigations into the case against Jaganmohan Reddy.

Lakshminarayana Tuesday demitted office after the Indian Police Service officer of was sent back to his cadre state of Maharashtra.

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