An Enforcement Directorate special court in Hyderabad has summoned Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in a land allotment case and asked him to attend the court hearing on January 11. This was confirmed to TNM by his counsel. The case is related to land allotments to Aurobindo Pharma and Hetero Drug companies which took place during Jagan’s father and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekara Reddy’s regime.
One hundred and fifty acres of land in Jadcherla was allotted to these two companies when YSR was the Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh. According to the chargesheet, both of these companies invested heavily in Jagan’s firms as quid pro quo for the land allotted to them. Recently, the chargesheet of the case was transferred from Nampally court in the city to the Enforcement Directorate Court and the summons is in relation to numbering the case in the ED court. Sources however say that CM Jagan will file an exemption plea as on Monday the Prime Minister has a call scheduled with all Chief Ministers on COVID-19 vaccination.
The CBI filed the chargesheet in this particular case and named Jagan, his auditor Vijay Sai Reddy and the directors of both the companies. According to preliminary information, along with the Chief Minister, Vijay Sai Reddy, Hetero Director Srinvasa Reddy, Aurobindo Director Srinivasa Reddy, Trident Life sciences Director Chandra Reddy and retired IAS officer BP Acharya have also been summoned. All these people will have to be present in court on January 11.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister has been charge-sheeted and is facing trial in at least 11 cases as the prime accused in alleged quid pro quo deals.
The cases relate to investments made by various companies in Jagan’s firms as alleged quid pro quo for various favours bestowed on them during his father’s tenure between 2004 and 2009. Several former ministers and bureaucrats are also accused in the case.
Jagan is currently out on bail, having spent time in the Chanchalguda Central Prison from May 2012 to September 2013.
After becoming Chief Minister in May 2019, Jagan made his first appearance in the Nampally CBI court in the disproportionate asset’s cases, on January 10, 2020, and had managed to gain exemptions on two occasions citing official work.
The same month, Jagan’s lawyers had petitioned with the special CBI court seeking an exemption from personal appearance. The court while rejecting the petition had asked the Chief Minister to attend the hearing for the case every week, Friday. Jagan had pleaded that his personal appearance every week to Hyderabad was a huge expenditure as a convoy of security personnel had to accompany him.
The Special Court of the Enforcement Directorate had also dismissed a similar plea requesting exemption from personal appearance in the court.
The Andhra Chief Minister had even filed a petition with the Telangana High court challenging the CBI and ED court decision, however, failed to achieve the intended outcome of exemption.