Contending that allowing the former ministers P Sabita Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao, accused in the YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case, to roam freely and address media would influence the witnesses in the case, the CBI on Friday urged the court to send both the accused to judicial remand. The case has been posted to July 19 for further hearing.
While arguing on the counter memos filed by the two leaders, on the CBI memos seeking judicial custody of the duo, CBI special prosecutor K Surender said both the accused were influential people and are capable of influencing the witnesses and hence, they should be sent to judicial remand.
Disagreeing with the argument of the defence counsel that the media statement made by their clients were of normal nature and was not to influence or threaten the witnesses, he said the media statements made by the two may appear very normal to common man but it does not look normal to the witnesses and could influence them, he stated.
The claim of the two leaders that the investigation agency has falsely implicated them and that the courts would soon acquit them and they have the support of the chief minister and the entire state cabinet would definitely influence the witnesses, he said and added that claiming such support openly may force the witnesses to backtrack from their earlier statement and this would have adverse affect on the entire case. Both the leaders are involved in serious offences and allowing them to roam freely may not be advisable as they may destroy the evidence and could even threaten the witnesses, he stated.
Citing the example of DMK MP Kanimozhi, who was sent to judicial custody for her role in the alleged financial irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation case, he said Kanimozhi case was similar to this case and on the request of the investigating agency the Apex court has sent her to judicial remand as she was in the position to influence the witnesses. Taking cue from the apex court the CBI court should also send the two former ministers to judicial custody, he said.
The CBI special prosecutor said just because the court has accepted the sureties of the two accused doesn’t mean that they cannot be sent to judicial custody. Earlier, the defence counsel of the two claimed that the media statements made by their clients were normal and was not for threatening or influencing the witnesses. They argued that the case investigation was almost over and there was no scope for tampering the evidence or threatening the witnesses. Hence, seeking judicial custody of their clients makes no sense.