Hyderabad: A CBI special court in Hyderabad summoned Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy to personally appear before it in a disproportionate assets case on Friday.
If Jagan Mohan Reddy appears personally next week, this would be his first appearance in the court as the chief minister in the case registered against him in 2011. He, however, has the option of challenging the order in High Court.
The chief minister has been seeking exemption from appearing before the court for the last ten Fridays. The court, however, directed the main accused Jagan Mohan Reddy and number two YRS Congress MP V Vijaya Sai Reddy to attend the court proceedings on January 10.
Upon his election in May 2019, the chief minister had filed a petition before the CBI court seeking complete exemption from personal appearance, citing the busy schedule of a constitutional post and wastage of public money for his weekly trips from Amaravati to Hyderabad. The court had, however, rejected this plea and instead ordered him to seek exemption whenever necessary.
CBI prosecutors had raised objections to this provision of weekly exemptions for the chief minister and the MP, the two accused in the Rs 43,000 crore disproportionate assets case.
"In all the 11 chargesheets, the petitioner stands accused in his individual capacity and as a representative of his privately owned companies, and therefore, should attend the court as such," the CBI had said.
In what is called the ''quid-pro-quo'' cases, Jagan was accused of getting investments into his businesses by firms and individuals in return for the undue favours by the government headed by his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy between 2004 and 2009.
However, he denied all the charges and termed them as political vendetta. The CBI arrested Jagan and sent him to jail on May 27, 2012. After 16 months in jail, he was granted bail.
(With IANS inputs)