Jagan assets case: Co-accused moves to court

Hyderabad: Alleging that CBI was "forcing and threatening" witnesses in the case pertaining to alleged disproportionate assets of Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, an accused today moved a court here, seeking direction to the central agency to probe the matter only between 2004 and 2009.

V Vijay Sai Reddy, vice-chairman of Jagati Publications and second accused in the case, requested the court that it directs the CBI to refrain from investigating into the group companies of Jagan, with regard to the transaction and affairs of the companies (and persons) that took place prior to May 2004.

Reddy`s counsel Umamaheshwar Rao contended that the CBI was "exceeding and crossing the boundary" by seeking statements from witnesses related to the period of 1999-2001, while investigating into the investments by various firms in businesses of Jaganmohan Reddy between 2004 and 2009.

Following an Andhra Pradesh High Court order, an FIR was registered by CBI to probe investments into group of companies of Jaganmohan Reddy. According to the FIR, favours were shown by the AP Government to such investors between May 2004 and September 2009.

Rao alleged that the line of investigation adopted and pursued by the CBI is far beyond the scope of enquiry permitted by the High Court. "The CBI questioned my client over the affairs of the group companies prior to May 2004 and now is pressurising and threatening other witnesses to give statements against the petitioner with regard to transactions of the group of companies of Jagan," Rao further submitted.

On August 17, the CBI had registered a case against Jagan, the son of former Chief Minister late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, on the instructions of AP High Court for offences such as cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust under the IPC, as well as under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

In the FIR, CBI has accused the YSR Congress chief of "conspiring" with his father and other individuals and companies to "cheat the government of Andhra Pradesh in the matter of granting certain favours to many companies".