HC reserves orders on hearing CBI cases first

Justice Shameem Akther of Telangana High Court on Friday reserved orders in the writ petitions seeking directions to hear CBI cases first before taking up Enforcement Directorate (ED) cases involving Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The petitions were filed by Vijayasai Reddy, Jagathi Publications, Carmel Asia Holdings Private Limited and Bharati Cements. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy was MP when CBI arrested him in 2012 with charges of quid pro quo deals during his late father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister of the undivided Andhra Pradesh. The ED cases followed. He eventually became Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Appearing for Mr. Vijaya Sai Reddy and Jagathi Publications, senior counsel S. Niranjan Reddy it would not be fair to first conduct trial of ED cases which were registered based on the First Information Reports (FIRs) issued by the CBI. If the CBI special court acquits the accused in CBI cases, the cases filed by the ED would lose legal sanctity and hence would be null and void.

The CBI charged that money was made illegally. If that case was struck off, then the cases initiated by the ED based on the premise that money was illegally earned would not stand before the law. The special court had earlier consented to conduct trial of both the CBI and the ED cases simultaneously.

However, the special court eventually consented to hear the ED cases first. The special court did not have the power to amend its own directions, the senior counsel said. Additional Solicitor General T. Suryakaran Reddy representing the CBI and the ED argued that the burden of proof lies with the investigators in criminal cases.

Whereas it was the responsibility of the accused to prove that the money belonged to them in money laundering cases registered by the ED, he said. An amendment was made to Section 44 of the ED Act in 2019 facilitating conducting of trial in ED cases irrespective of the status of criminal cases. Even if the criminal case was dropped, the case filed by the ED can be continued, he contended.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 2:44:01 AM |

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