Hyderabad, Jan 3 (IANS) In a big setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, a CBI special court here on Friday directed him to appear personally in the court on January 10 in the disproportionate assets case.
If Jagan Mohan Reddy appears personally next week, this would be his first appearance in the court as the chief minister in the case registered against him in 2011. He, however, has the option of challenging the order in High Court.
Jagan, who took over as the chief minister in May last year, has been seeking exemptions from personal appearance every Friday.
However, on Friday, the special court, hearing Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases, took exception to the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief seeking exemptions every week.
The CBI court judge, who held in-camera hearing, noted that Jagan has already availed 10 exemptions.
The court also directed YSR Congress MP V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, who is the accused number two in the case, to appear personally on January 10.
The court on November 1 last year had dismissed Jagan’s petition for exemption from personal appearance in the case.
The chief minister had sought the exemption from personal appearance in the court on the ground that he is holding a constitutional post and needs to attend several important programmes.
However, the CBI had opposed the plea on the ground that there is a change only in personal capacity of the petitioner and not in the circumstances of the case. The federal agency had also argued that Jagan may influence the witnesses.
“In all the 11 chargesheets, the petitioner stands accused in his individual capacity and as a representative of his privately owned companies, and therefore, should attend the court as such,” the CBI had said.
In what is called the ”quid-pro-quo” cases, Jagan was accused of getting investments into his businesses by firms and individuals in return for the undue favours by the government headed by his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy between 2004 and 2009.
However, the YSRCP leader denied all the charges and termed them as political vendetta.
The CBI arrested Jagan and sent him to jail on May 27, 2012. After 16 months in jail, he was granted bail.