The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday sought the judicial custody of two former Ministers who recently resigned from the Kiran Kumar Reddy government — P. Sabita Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao — for issuing statements that they would come out clean in the cases against them.
Their action amounted to influencing public opinion and witnesses and also setting up hurdles to investigation, the CBI said in two separate memos filed in a court here, during the appearance of the accused in the case against Dalmia Cement and two other companies as part of the probe into the assets of Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
The judge U. Durga Prasada Rao, while accepting the memos, directed the court staff to look into their merits even as counsel for the ex-Ministers insisted on serving of notices and hearing their maintainability. The CBI also submitted a CD to the judge containing media clippings of the ex-Ministers’ speeches on the cases and requested the court to send them to jail before June 21, the next day of hearing.
Mr. Jagan and his auditor V. Vijay Sai Reddy were brought to court amid tight security from Chanchalguda central jail, where the YSR Congress president has been detained for the past one year. Ms. Sabita Reddy came along with a large entourage of supporters who held aloft placards expressing solidarity with her. The attendance of Mr. Dharmana Rao was not required as he was accused in another case related to Mr. Jagan’s assets. Nevertheless, the CBI petitioned the court seeking permission to prosecute him under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) as he ceased to be a public servant. The court has already taken cognisance of charges under PCA against Ms. Sabita Reddy. The court issued summons seeking the presence of Mr. Jagan, Ms. Sabita Reddy, suspended IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi, former mines director V.D. Rajagopal, managing director of Dalmia Cement Puneet Dalmia and other accused to receive copies of the charge sheet filed in the case on April 8.
Mr. Jagan was taken out of the jail after six months, while ailing Srilakshmi remained in an ambulance outside. A court official was sent to mark her attendance.