"CBI fear can’t be ignored, as the MP is ultimate beneficiary in huge transactions"

Economic offences are a class apart and need to be viewed differently in the matter of bail, the Supreme Court said, rejecting bail to YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy’s plea on Thursday. The Kadapa MP has been in jail since May 27, 2012.

“Economic offences having deep-rooted conspiracies and involving huge loss of public funds need to be considered grave offences affecting the economy as a whole and thereby posing a serious threat to the financial health of the country,” said a Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and M.Y. Eqbal.

Writing the judgment, Justice Sathasivam said that after going into all details in a CBI status report and the May 6 counter affidavit sworn by the Deputy Inspector General of Police and Chief Investigating Officer, Hyderabad, “we feel that at this stage, the release of the appellant would hamper the investigation as it may influence witnesses and tamper with material evidence.”

Though it was pointed out by counsel (Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi and K.V. Viswanathan) that the appellant was in no way connected with the persons in power, the CBI apprehension “cannot be lightly ignored, considering the claim that the appellant is the ultimate beneficiary and prime conspirator in huge monetary transactions.” The Bench said the CBI, in its status court, assured the court that investigation was being carried out expeditiously. It had completed the probe with respect to Dalmia Cements and filed the charge sheet in the Court of Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad, on April 8. Investigation of six other issues was in final stages. “The CBI has highlighted the amount involved and the facilities provided by the father of the appellant.” The Bench directed the CBI to complete the investigation and file the charge sheet(s) within four months. Thereafter, the appellant could move the trial court, which would be “free to consider the prayer for bail independently on its merits without being influenced by dismissal of the present appeal.”