Jagan Mohan Reddy will be in jail for at least two weeks more. A CBI court here has extended his judicial remand till July 18, a few hours after the Andhra Pradesh High Court had rejected his plea for bail.
Mr Reddy has been at the Chanchalguda Jail near Hyderabad for 37 days now in a disproportionate assets case.
The 40-year-old MP's lawyers had moved the High Court for bail on June 21; the court today accepted the argument of the CBI that investigation in the case is at a critical juncture and therefore bail should not be granted right now. The judge, however, did say that there was no evidence presented by the CBI to show that Mr Reddy had tampered with evidence.
The CBI has contended that it will file four additional chargesheets in the case and that it fears that Jagan Mohan Reddy, an influential person, can threaten witnesses and tamper with evidence.
Arguing for Mr Reddy, his lawyer Ram Jethmalani said his client was a prominent public figure heading a political party that had 16 MLAs and two MPs, and that he would would cooperate with the CBI in its investigation.
On Tuesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its fourth chargesheet against YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in the same case. It is a supplementary to the first chargesheet where the investigating agency has added a new Section 9 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The YSR Congress is disappointed. A party contingent of top leaders headed by Jagan Reddy's mother Vijayalakshmi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi today and sought his intervention. The delegation complained to Dr Singh that Mr Reddy's life was under threat and necessary steps be taken in this regard. They have alleged that the CBI is not investigating the case impartially.
Mr Reddy's party has singled out CBI Joint Director Lakshmi Narayana, alleging that he is biased. The Andhra Pradesh High Court had on Monday asked the officer to explain within a week why he made several phone calls to the media. Mr Reddy's Sakshi channel had recently made the official's call data records public and the CID is now investigating the case on a complaint by Mr Narayana.
While accusing the CBI official of hatching a conspiracy against Mr Reddy, the YSR Congress has claimed that he made calls to journalists of newspapers and television channels which were running a vilification campaign against Mr reddy.
Mr Reddy was arrested after three days of interrogation on May 27 and has been in jail ever since. He was arrested while in the middle of an intense campaign for by-elections to 18 Assembly seats. Though in jail, and some say because of that, Mr Reddy's party swept the by-elections winning 15 out of the 18 Assembly seats.