Jailbirds get an airing - The New Indian Express

Jailbirds get an airing

Published: 06th December 2012 10:00 AM

Last Updated: 06th December 2012 10:00 AM

Wednesday was a day out for star undertrials. The glitterati of the state’s most controversial corruption cases -- the Jagan wealth case, the Emaar township scam and the Obulapuram mining scam -- were brought to the court of judge A Pullaiah at the Gagan Vihar Complex for a hearing and an extension of their remand.

It served as a reunion for Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy with his wife and two daughters while former cabinet colleagues Mopidevi Venkataramana and Dharmana Prasada Rao caught up on politics.

Earlier in the day, the doors of Chanchalguda prison opened to disgorge the detainees one by one -- Jagan, Mopidevi, Nimmagadda Prasad, Gali Janardhan Reddy, PA K Mehfuz Ali Khan, O Rajagopal, B V Srinivas Reddy and Sunil Reddy -- as police black marias waited to transport them to court. Having spent months in the air-conditioned confinces of the prison, they all looked fairer and refreshed.

The lesser detainees -- Rajagopal, Sreenivas Reddy, Mehfuz Ali Khan and Sunil Reddy -- were the first to emerge and were bundled into the regular prison van and carted away. Then came, Gali Janardhan Reddy, looking less ebullient than his last airing. He was followed by Mopidevi, clad in Ayyappa deeksha clothes. Then came Jagan with his trademark smile and namaste in place. He was ushered into a bullet-proof van with tinted windows and driven to court past about 150 supporters sequestered some distance away. Reaching the court, Jagan’s day was made as daughters Harsha and Varsha had come to see Dad.

With security personnel present in strength, employees working in the 13-storeyed Gagan Vihar complex had difficulty getting to work. In the court, some scheduled cases had to be passed over because the respondents could not make it past the security ring.

The first turn in the dock went to the OMC case accused and then the Emaar. Their time in judicial remand was extended till Dec. 19. Then came Jagan’s turn. As soon as he arrived, lawyers jostled to greet him.

Amidst the proceedings, there was time for some hushed small talk and some awkward silences. Dharmana came much before the proceedings started and sat in a corner chatting with IAS officers M Samuel and B P Acharya and chose to avoid Jagan.

After judge Pullaiah extended the remand of all the detainees until Jan. 19, Jagan and the others walked out of the court hall and then Dharmana shook hands with Mopidevi before taking leave.

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