YSRC president entitled to default bail, says Jagan’s senior counsel

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the bail plea of YSR Congress leader and Member of Parliament Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy in the disproportionate case registered against him.

A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and M.Y. Eqbal issued notice on Jagan’s special leave petition after hearing senior counsel Harish Salve, who argued that the CBI had not complied with the October 5, 2012 direction to file a consolidated charge-sheet against Jagan in the pending cases.

Mr. Salve said since the CBI had filed only one charge-sheet subsequent to the October 5, 2012 direction, he was entitled to ‘default bail’ as charge-sheets had not been filed in the remaining cases. Mr. Salve also drew the court’s attention to the news reports about the Union Minister of State for Railways (Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy) making a statement that if Jagan wanted bail, he should join the Congress.

The Bench sought CBI’s response in one week and posted the matter for further hearing on May 6.

Mr. Salve insisted that the court should consider grant of at least interim bail considering the fact that Mr. Jagan was in jail from May 27, 2012.

In his SLP, Jagan said the Andhra Pradesh High Court had declined bail to him despite a vital change in circumstance and despite it being established that the CBI had misled this court.

He said his arrest was by virtue of the allegations contained in an FIR marked as R.C.No.19 (A)/2011-CBI-HYD registered by the CBI. This FIR had a host of allegations in relation to independent alleged acts of abuse of power for conferring benefits on different sets of people.

He said: “it appears that each of the allegations has been investigated by the CBI as a separate case” contrary to the submissions made in this court on October 5, 2012 that investigation would be completed before March 31, 2013 and a consolidated charge-sheet filed.

‘Partial charge-sheet’

He said “in complete defiance of the court’s direction, the CBI has filed a single partial charge-sheet on April 8 in order to continue depriving his liberty under law.

As there was no charge-sheet in respect of these allegations to date (whether independent or consolidated) and more than 90 days had expired, he was entitled to default bail in respect of these allegations.

He said in so far as the case in which he was arrested, the investigation was completed almost a year ago and he had already undergone imprisonment of 11 months.

‘Ruse’

“It is well settled that the pendency of an independent investigation in which the default period has expired cannot be used as a ruse to oppose the bail in respect of an offence in which charge-sheet has been filed almost a year ago,” the SLP said and prayed for his release on bail.