The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned till September 28 the bail plea of YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy in the alleged multi-crore disproportionate assets scam being probed by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate.
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, however, directed the CBI to place before it the application moved before a special court in Hyderabad for purportedly summoning key witness, Y. Suryanarayana Reddy, in the alleged scam.
The apex court passed the direction after senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam and counsel Gopal Shankarnarayan pleaded for the bail on the ground that Jagan was in judicial custody and already three charge sheets have been filed against him by the agency.
Mr. Subramaniam also assailed the summoning order issued by the special CBI judge to Mr. Suryanarayana Reddy, to record his statement under section 164 CrPC.
The counsel contended that if such an order is passed by the special judge, it is unheard of as there is no provision under 164 CrPC to issue summons to a witness.
In other words, it was argued that a statement under 164 CrPC can be recorded only voluntarily and not through summons.
At this stage, the bench said it would examine the said summoning order and accordingly directed the CBI to place on record before it the application moved by the agency before the special judge for summoning of the witness.
During the argument, the bench also observed that “Mr Gopal Subramaniam, with your wide experience you know that resourceful persons even while sitting in the jail can get their things done outside.”
Additional Solicitor General Mohan Jain appeared for the CBI.
On September 11, while opposing Mr. Jaganmohan’s bail plea, the CBI had claimed that the trail of his alleged disproportionate assets extended not only to different states but also to several countries.
“The respondent submits that the case against the petitioner A—1 (Jagan) and other accused has a large magnitude not only confined to the state of Andhra Pradesh but also extends to the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Delhi and several foreign countries.
“Therefore, the public perception in the rule of law and majesty of justice will suffer dilution. In the present case, the petitioner and other accused have impoverished the state exchequer with several thousand crores and the petitioner in particular has enriched himself to a large magnitude only through resorting to illegal and corrupt methods.
“In a short span of time to be precise within a period of five years the petitioner herein has enriched himself to several thousands of crores illegally and by subversion of the system,” the CBI had claimed in its affidavit.
In its affidavit, the CBI had alleged that Mr. Jaganmohan had enriched himself by several thousands of crores of rupees illegally by using influence of his father and granting him bail at this juncture would erode public confidence in the administration of justice.
The agency had filed the affidavit in response to the apex court’s notice to the CBI last month on Mr. Jaganmohan’s plea for bail in the DA case being probed by it and the Enforcement Directorate.
According to the CBI, Mr. Jaganmohan had made several attempts to influence witnesses, has not cooperated with the investigating agencies, attempted to stifle investigation and prosecution by filing several petitions and initiating frivolous proceedings.
The CBI had also alleged that having regard to the huge finances available at the disposal of Mr. Jagan and his political clout, he is likely to interfere with the process of further probe being conducted by it in the case.