Opposing grant of exemption to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy from personal appearance before the special CBI court in the alleged disproportionate assets case, the Central Bureau of Investigation submitted that if the High Court grants blanket exemption from personal appearance to the prime accused (Jagan) before trial court, then it will make him feel virtually liberated from the ongoing judicial proceedings.
It also gives him an unsolicited liberty to do whatever he wants and influence the witnesses behind the iron wall of political, money and muscle power, reducing the trial proceedings to a mere spectacle.
The first chargesheet was filed in the case about eight years ago, but the trial proceedings are yet to commence and this indicates that the petitioner and other accused were working in tandem to procrastinate the proceedings on one pretext or the other, the CBI noted.
In this regard, the CBI filed counter affidavit before Justice G Sri Devi of Telangana High Court, who is dealing with 11 petitions filed by Jagan seeking to quash the order of the Special CBI court and dispense with his personal appearance before the trial court and allow his advocate to appear on his behalf during hearing of criminal proceedings initiated against him.
The petitioner, who is arrayed as accused number one in the 11 chargesheets filed in the case, challenged the order of the special CBI court in dismissing his plea to grant exemption from personal appearance in the alleged disproportionate assets case and allow his advocate to appear on his behalf during the case hearing on every Friday.
The CBI stated that in all the 11 chargesheets filed by the probe agency, Jagan is the focal point and principal beneficiary of the economic fraud and was named as accused number one in his individual capacity and was named as representative of his privately owned companies which were used for receiving bribe amounts in the name of investments.
The CBI court took cognizance of all these chargesheets on the basis of documentary and oral evidence. The trial court had dismissed petitions seeking dispensation of his personal appearance in February 2014 and again in September 2016.
Later, the High Court had also dismissed the appeals filed on the issue in August 2017. In November last year, the trial court again dismissed his plea filed after becoming CM. Therefore, the High Court should not grant any exemption, it said.