The Supreme Court today allowed YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy to withdraw his petition seeking bail. Sources close to Jagan Mohan Reddy told NDTV that they will seek permission to resubmit the bail plea with additional evidence in the "changed circumstances''.
The Supreme Court was to hear the bail plea of Mr Reddy today. The 40-year-old MP had moved the Supreme Court for bail against the Andhra Pradesh High Court order, which denied him the relief in the disproportionate assets case on July 4.
There is speculation that after the YSR Congress voted for Pranab Mukherjee in the recent presidential election, there may be a softening of stand towards Mr Reddy and it is possible that the investigating agency may not push to keep him inside jail.
Jagan's aides, however, said what they were planning to draw the attention of the court to the 26 controversial government orders that are said to have benefitted Jaganmohan Reddy when his father was chief minister. At least six ministers in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet were asked to explain their role in issuing the government orders. With the Andhra Pradesh government recently deciding to pay for the legal expenses for the ministers to argue their case, the conclusion could be that the government is backing the ministers as it does not consider anything to be wrong with the orders issued by the YSR government. A close aide of Jagan pointed out that in the FIR filed against him, the government orders were referred to as YSR's decisions instead of as the decisions of the state government. So the argument now would be that the cases are politically motivated, foisted with the intention of isolating Jagan.
Mr Reddy was arrested on May 27 for allegedly amassing wealth, which exceeded his legal income.
The High Court had accepted the argument of the Central Bureau of Investigation that probe 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.
A contingent of top leaders from the YSR Congress headed by Mr Reddy's mother Vijayalakshmi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi earlier this month 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 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.