In a setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, a CBI court in Hyderabad today rejected his petition seeking exemption from personal appearance during hearings in cases related to alleged "quid pro quo" investments into his firms.
The cases relate to investments made by various companies during 2004 and 2009, when his father YS Rajasekhar Reddy was chief minister.
Jagan Reddy sought exemption on the ground that as chief minister he has several responsibilities and appearing personally in court and travelling back and forth from Amaravati to Hyderabad would interfere with his discharge of duty. Besides, the security protocol etc would cost upto Rs 60 lakh, Mr Reddy's counsel added.
However, the CBI counsel argued that Jagan Reddy non-appearance in the court would give him the "liberty to do whatever he wants and influence the witness behind the iron wall of political, money and muscle powers".
Jagan Reddy will now has to be present in CBI court every Friday for hearing related to the cases filed against him in 2011.
Jagan Reddy was released on bail in September 2013 after being in prison for 15 months following his arrest in May 2012 in related cases.
While granting him bail, the special CBI court had ordered him not to directly or indirectly induce or influence witnesses. Besides, he was asked to be present before the court during the proceedings in the case.
The CBI has filed 11 charge sheets, besides supplementary charge sheet in the cases.