Insist on checking video clippings of speeches

The petition of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking judicial custody of formers Ministers Dharmana Prasada Rao and P. Sabitha Indra Reddy for comments that “they will come out clean” in the assets case against Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy took a curious turn on Wednesday when they filed memos in the court stating that they would respond only after perusing the unedited video clippings of their speeches.

Case adjourned

Counsel for the Ministers moved the memos when the matter came up for hearing. After brief arguments in the wake of the stand taken by the defence, the case was adjourned to June 25.

The CBI had produced in the court a CD of the speeches of the ex-Ministers recently and wanted them to be sent to jail when Jagan and other accused were produced for taking copies of the charge-sheet filed against Dalmia Cement which was alleged to have invested in the businesses of the MP.

The investigating agency’s contention was that the ex-Ministers, who were also accused, were trying to influence public opinion and threaten witnesses by making such speeches. But, counsel for the ex-Ministers insisted on due process of law to be followed like issue of notices and hearing to establish their culpability.

The court had issued notices and fixed the hearing for today when E. Uma Maheswara Rao, counsel for Mr. Prasada Rao and Ms. Sabitha Indra Reddy, insisted that he would file the counter-affidavit only after perusing the original tape to know the background and the statements in their entirety.

He said the CBI presented ‘selective portions’ of the speeches.

‘Speeches downloaded’

The lawyer for the CBI argued that the speeches were downloaded from ‘You Tube.’ He requested the court to treat the memos as infructuous because the comments as such were not denied but the defence maintained that the source was unauthorised.

At this stage, the court decided to deliver orders on the memos on June 25 while keeping the main petition of the CBI in abeyance.