CBI grills Vijay Sai in Jagan`s assets case

Vijay Sai, the vice-president of Jagati Publications Private Limited, is the second accused in the case.

Hyderabad: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday began questioning Vijay Sai Reddy, a close aide of YSR Congress Party chief and Parliament member YS Jaganmohan Reddy, in the latter`s illegal assets case.

The CBI officials began grilling him at Dilkusha Guest House after he was shifted from the Chanchalguda Central Jail.

The special CBI court, which Wednesday remanded him in the CBI custody, directed that the agency question him from 10 am to 5 pm in the presence of his lawyers and escort him back to jail after the questioning every day.

The federal investigating agency will be trying to gather more details of the investments into Jagan`s companies as Vijay Sai Reddy played a key role in the transactions, CBI sources said.

Vijay Sai, the vice-president of Jagati Publications Private Limited (JPPL), is the second accused in the case and as the auditor and financial advisor of Jagan`s companies is believed to have all the information of the investments.

The CBI has told the court that investments into Jagan`s firms were, in fact, bribes paid by the companies which received favours from his father and the then chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in the form of leases and licenses for mining, land allotments and other public projects.

Vijay Sai, who was arrested Monday, has been questioned 30 times by the CBI since a case of disproportionate assets was registered against Jagan.

While seeking his custody, CBI counsel told the court Wednesday that Vijay Sai coerced an industrialist to transfer ownership of his four companies to Jagan`s wife Y.S. Bharathi, who heads the JPPL.

The CBI also claimed that a realtor was forced to invest Rs 5 crore in the JPPL, which published Telugu daily `Sakshi`. According to the agency, Jagati Publications, which had a book value of Rs 149 crore in 2004, rose to a Rs 4,300 crore company in August 2011.

The public prosecutor also informed the court of another instance of misuse of power by late YS Rajasekhara Reddy to favour an investor into the JPPL. Vijay Sai played a key role in routing an investment of Rs 140 crore from India Cements, which was favoured by allocating excess water from Krishna river for its plant in violation of an inter-state agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

YSR, as Rajasekhara Reddy was popularly known, died in a helicopter crash Sep 2, 2009.

Jagan, who raised a banner of revolt after Congress leadership refused to make him the chief minister, quit the Congress in 2010 and floated the YSR Congress.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered a CBI probe into his assets in August last year after a state minister and some Telugu Desam Party leaders moved the court, alleging that Jagan amassed huge wealth by misuse of power during his father`s rule from 2004 to 2009.