Hyderabad: The CBI court at Nampally on Monday sent YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy to 14-day judicial custody till June 11 in connection with a disproportionate assets case.
Principal Judge of CBI court A Pullaiah, pronouncing the order in a packed court, said, "It is quite clear that the accused (Jagan), being in a position of power being a MP and president of a political party has the stature and position to influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence."
"That`s the reason necessary to believe and he needs to be sent to judicial remand under section 309 CrPC."
The judge also dismissed CBI`s application seeking custody of Jagan for further interrogation. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier sought 14-day custody of Jagan Reddy.
The young Kadapa MP was escorted to the Nampally court amid tight security. A large number of policemen were deployed outside the court premise to avoid any violence by his supporters.
The Nampally court complex was virtually under police siege. CCTV cameras have also been installed around the complex to keep vigil on the movement of people.
Jagan was shifted to Chanchalguda Central Prison here amidst heavy security. He has been accorded special prisoner status category after his counsel made a plea in this regard.
Seeking 14 days police remand, senior CBI counsel Ashok Bhan alleged that YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy "sent (bribe amount) abroad and got it reinvested in his business through hawala racket".
"Jagan never cooperated in the investigation during the three-day questioning period in true sense," the CBI counsel alleged.
"Jagan can no longer masquerade as a victim of CBI probe. He cannot assail CBI for being victimised. He has hoodwinked the people of a huge sum of money. We will now show the people about his swindling of money. He cannot seek public sympathy. He has deprived poor people and caused them irreparable loss and in turn enriched himself by dubious mechanism by sending the funds abroad and getting the same invested in his companies," the counsel alleged.
CBI has charged Jagan under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Investments to the tune of Rs 1234 crore have been made in his (Jagan`s) companies and he himself got enriched by Rs 300 crore. There are certain traces and he did not cooperate on the same," Bhan alleged.
"It is a white collar crime committed by 74 accused, including Jagan, and so far charge sheets have been filed against 24 accused. All the accused in custody (industrialist N Prasad, senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy) have revealed certain glaring facts about the case and we have to confront Jagan on the information provided," the CBI counsel claimed.
CBI has sent Letters Rogatory to Mauritius and Luxembourg to get more information as there were alleged investments to the tune of several crores in Sandur Power by Jagan. "Luxembourg-based Asian Infra is suspected owner of Sandur Power," the agency submitted.
There are similar transactions in the "exclusive knowledge" of Jagan which will be known only after getting his custody, the CBI counsel said.
"Jagan got enriched enormously in a short span of four years after influencing his father Rajashekhar Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in getting ill gotten money into his own firms from investors who doled out favours as part of quid pro quo," the counsel alleged.
"Some investing companies got alloted thousands of acres of agriculture land in turn of investments after Jagan influenced his father," the agency further alleged.
Further investigations need to be carried out on the role of Jagan with regard to the influence made on his father, the agency said.
Earlier, Jagan who requested to speak with the judge in the court hall said, "I don`t know why they (CBI) booked a case and arrested me when I am in midst of campaigning.”
"I was supposed to campaign (for the June 12 bypolls in the state) for my party candidates till June 10, who are contesting in 18 assembly and one Lok Sabha seats. The whole country is watching at the by-polls”, he said.
Referring to investments in his Sakshi (Telugu daily and TV Channel), Jagan said it is the eighth largest circulated daily in the country and that each share of Rs 10 face value was sold at Rs 350. He said CBI was presenting one side of the coin.
On CBI`s allegation that there were alleged investments to the tune of Rs 140 crore in his businesses by a Mauritius- based firm, Jagan said the investments are actually Rs 120 crore.
"CBI says it is my money routed through hawala. Why would they buy Sakshi shares at premium when it is my money”, he added.
Jagan`s wife Bharati and his uncle Y S Vivekananda Reddy were present in the court.
Jagan`s family, who sat on a dharna protesting his arrest, alleged vendetta by Sonia Gandhi, a charge the strongly refuted by the Congress.
39-year-old Jagan was arrested last evening by the CBI in connection with the disproportionate assets case registered against him.
He is the fifth person to be arrested in the Disproportionate Assets case. The others apprehended are Jagan’s financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy, senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao.
With PTI inputs