Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has been in judicial custody for the last one year, has to wait for bail till end of this year.
He was arrested on May 27 last year in the Vanpic case and remanded in judicial custody. Since then, he is languishing in Chanchalguda central prison as a special category undertrial prisoner.
Jagan will be in judicial custody till end of this year as he could renew his prayer for bail before the trial court only after a period of four months, in September, as per the Supreme Court orders passed recently. Filing of the bail application, its listing, arguments etc will take another few months before the court delivers its judgement.
Till date, the Kadapa MP has approached the CBI court twice for bail. At one stage, he has filed two separate bail applications--statutory and regular. After the rejection of bail petitions, he challenged the lower court’s orders in the High Court, which too dismissed his bail pleas. Jagan then filed an appeal before the apex court.
On May 9 this year, the Supreme Court, while dismissing his bail application, directed the CBI to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet within four months. “Economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail,” the Supreme Court remarked.
The Supreme Court, in its recent order, said the apprehension raised by the CBI cannot be ignored lightly, considering the claim that the appellant (Jagan) is the ultimate beneficiary and the prime conspirator in huge monetary transactions. An economic offence having deep-rooted conspiracies and involving huge loss of public funds needs to be viewed seriously and considered as a grave offence affecting the economy of the country as a whole and thereby posing serious threat to the financial health of the country.
The apex court has also said that while granting bail, the court has to keep in mind the nature of accusations, the nature of evidence in support thereof, the severity of the punishment which the conviction will entail, the character of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused, reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the trial, reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, the larger interests of the public and the state and other similar considerations.
Jagan has roped in several high-profile Supreme Court lawyers to argue his case in various courts in the last one year. Eminent lawyers Harish N Salve, Ram Jethmalani, Sushil Kumar, KV Vishwanathan, Mukul Rohatgi, Altaf Ahmad, Gopal Subramaniam and S Niranjan Reddy are among those who argued his cases in the CBI court, High Court and the Supreme Court.
The YSR Congress leader has been arguing that the case against him was ‘politically motivated’ and the CBI has been ‘dragging’ it intentionally. “How can a person who is out of power could tamper with evidence? On the other hand, the ministers who are accused in the case are in power and they have the power to do tampering,” Jagan’s counsels argued.
The CBI has so far filed five chargesheets in the case and submitted that the investigation is still going on in connection with seven matters. It further said major issues which are now under investigation relate to conspiracies distinctly involving entities like Sandur Power, mining leases to Bharati, Raghuram, Penna, Dalmia and India Cements, investment through paper companies (also known as suitcase companies) based in Kolkata and Mumbai, and Indu Projects (Lepakshi Knowledge Hub). The amounts involved in the above cases exceed `3000 crore.
The CBI assured the court that it will complete the probe as early as possible and shall submit one final chargesheet on completion of the investigation.