Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and Special Chief Secretary M. Samuel were among the several accused in the cases booked by the CBI against Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), Emaar township and Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy who appeared in a court here on Thursday.
The court extended till November 22 the judicial remand of Jagan, ex-Ministers Gali Janardhan Reddy and Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy, OMC managing director B.V. Srinivas Reddy, Jagan’s close aide Sunil Reddy and Janardhan Reddy’s personal assistant K. Mehfuz Ali Khan. They were produced from jail by video linkage.
Mr. Dharmana Prasada Rao, Mr. Samuel, suspended IAS officer B.P. Acharya, Ramky group chairman A. Ayodhya Rami Reddy and Nimmagadda Prasad’s brother Prakash were also directed to appear in the court again on November 22. Two other IAS officers Manmohan Singh and G. Venkatram Reddy requested the court to condone their absence. Mr. Prasada Rao drove straight from the court to the Secretariat to meet Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The court later took up the objection of CBI to the substitution of Jagan as the representative of his companies which were also cited as accused in the case against him. The defence had sought his replacement stating that it was approved by the respective boards of the companies.
CBI counsel Balla Ravindranath, however, argued that the petitions were moved to avoid attachment of properties belonging to Jagan by the Enforcement Directorate. The properties of a third party could not be attached if the companies were not found liable for the illegal acts of its directors.
Mr. Ravindranath also said the petitions were not maintainable because the right to companies arose only if the CBI failed to identify the directors in the charge sheets. But, Jagan was cited as the representative of the companies. Moreover, he had also appeared on behalf of the companies earlier which meant the process of proceeding against him as the representative was already initiated.
The companies were used as ‘masks’ for the illegal acts of their directors. In the scenario of companies being found innocent, the liability of directors came into focus. The judge posted the case for orders on November 26.