Government to change CBI counsels in Jagan case

Published: 14th September 2012 08:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2012 08:42 AM   |  A+A-

When YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy’s bail petition in the alleged disproportionate assets case comes up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Friday, the Central Bureau of Investigation may not be represented by the same set of lawyers who appeared for the investigating agency earlier.

 Amidst reports that the government may change the counsel who shall argue on behalf of the agency, the CBI seems to have objected to the move.

 According to a senior official in the CBI, the objection is mainly because the probe agency wants to ensure that an effective lawyer represent agency’s views strongly as it is determined to prevent grant of any relief to the jailed MP.

 The bail petition of Jagan is scheduled for hearing before the bench headed by justice Aftab Alam on Friday.

 The CBI has already furnished its response firmly opposing grant of bail to the jailed YSR Congress chief.

 According to sources, senior counsel Ashok Bhan and additional solicitor-general Harin Raval may not appear on Friday and another ASG Mohan Jain may have been given “instructions” to represent the agency in the apex court in the matter.

 Change of counsel is seen as `routine’ by the government owing to an increasing work load handled by Raval as he is representing the CBI in a majority of the cases before the apex court along with a few other ASGs.

 This sudden turn of events has come only two days after the premier investigating agency filed an affidavit strongly opposing Kadappa MP’s plea seeking grant of bail in the alleged disproportionate assets case.

 Senior counsel Bhan said that ASG Jain may be roped in and “we have been conveyed not to represent the agency in the matter when the matter comes up for hearing on Friday.

” It was only two days ago that CBI had filed an affidavit cleared by Bhan, wherein it claimed that the trail of alleged disproportionate assets acquired by Reddy extended to several countries.

 The CBI alleged that Reddy had enriched himself by several thousands of crores of rupees illegally by using his father’s influence and granting him bail at this juncture may prejudice the course of justice.

 The agency, in its affidavit, also alleged that having regard to the huge finances available at the disposal of Jagan and his political clout, he is likely to interfere with the process of further probe being conducted by it.

 “Therefore, setting him at liberty at this moment will not only interfere with the ongoing investigation but also impair the existing cases in the court,” the CBI said in its affidavit.

 The agency had filed the affidavit in response to the apex court’s notice to the CBI last month on Jagan’s plea for bail in the disproportionate assets case being probed by it and the Enforcement Directorate

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