An argument seeking discharge of Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s aide N. Sunil Reddy from Emaar township scam was made in the trial court here on Wednesday on the ground that a co-accused, T. Ranga Rao, who gave a confessional statement incriminating him was already granted pardon by the court.
Pardon is a deemed discharge from the case, which meant that Mr. Rao’s statement was not admissible unless he stood trial, Sunil Reddy’s counsel S. Sriram argued in court.
Mr. Sriram said a provision of evidence legislation made it clear that both the accused faced trial together to ensure that the confessional statement by one of them against the other was considered.
However, Mr. Rao, director of Stylish Homes, which was the marketing agency for villas in the township, was granted anticipatory bail which was unopposed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and later he was also tendered pardon.
Charges should have been framed against Mr. Rao if he stuck to his statement that Sunil Reddy and Trimex group chairman Koneru Prasad were the recipients of the Rs.96 crore, which Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation lost in the sale of villas in Emaar township.
The argument that joint trial was the pre-requisite to draw inspiration from a confessional statement of a co-accused would have been redundant if Mr. Rao was granted pardon after framing of charges which was the starting point of trial.
‘Case of discharge’
Asserting that this was a case of discharge per se for Sunil Reddy, Mr. Sriram said Mr. Rao was a free man as far as prosecution against him was concerned.
If the pardon of the co-accused was deemed discharge, his confessional statement was no evidence against Sunil Reddy for the purpose of trial.