Andhra Pradesh: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has vehemently opposed Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s petition seeking exemption from personal appearance in the on-going trial in Special CBI Court. Stating that any relaxation of conditions laid down by the court for the petitioner, including personal appearance, will only create an atmosphere of threat in the minds of witnesses and may even derail the process of a fair trial, the CBI sought the outright dismissal of Jagan’s petition.
Hyderabad DIG V Chandrashekar has filed a detailed counter-affidavit on behalf of CBI in the Special Court vehemently opposing Jagan’s plea. He stated that the allegations against Jagan represent various illegal financial and administrative dealings which were done on account of him being the son of the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The CBI expressed apprehension that now, himself being the Chief Minister, with all the power at his control, Jagan is expected to further his interests and not otherwise. It also felt that such exemption would give him unsolicited liberty to do whatever he wants and influence the witnesses behind the iron wall of political, money and muscle powers.
The CBI debunked the grounds raised by Jagan in his petition, like the frequent travel to Hyderabad would affect the administration. The counter-affidavit stated that the reference to revenue and financial conditions of the AP government is an attempt to deviate the attention of the court from the real issues. Since, in all 11 charge sheets, the petitioner stands accused in his capacity, and as a representative of his privately-owned companies, the CBI felt that he should attend the court in the same capacity.
The CBI further felt that “appearance before the trial court once a week is only to remind the accused that however big they are outside the court, they are subjected to the process of law and are bound to abide by the lawful conditions of the Court accepted by them in lieu of the freedom given to them for the balance six days of the week”.
The CBI also contended that the grounds stated by Jagan in his petition for personal exemption are also against Article 14 of the Indian Constitution that guarantees everyone equal before the law. The law of the land is equally applicable to all citizens, including the petitioner, the bureau asserted and sought dismissal of the petition.