Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy appeared in the special court of CBI in Hyderabad on Friday, 10 January, to face the ongoing trial in the quid pro quo investments cases against him. The court has now posted for 17 January the hearing in the alleged disproportionate assets case, ANI reported.
The special court judge on 3 January, had directed Jagan to appear in person for the trial, rejecting the latter's plea for an exemption.
This was Jagan’s first appearance in court for the trial after he assumed charge as chief minister on 30 May 2019. Even prior to that, he did not appear in person for the trial for several months, as he was busy campaigning for the general elections, PTI reported.
The YSR Congress president has been facing trial wherein he was charge-sheeted 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 quid pro quo for various favours bestowed on them during the tenure of his father late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy as chief minister 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 jail as an “un-convicted criminal prisoner” in the Chanchalguda Central Prison from May 2012 to September 2013.
Court Orders Jagan to Appear for Trial Every Friday
After becoming CM, Jagan filed a petition in the special court of CBI seeking exemption from personal appearance as he would be busy with official duties.
Also, lakhs of rupees of public money has to be spent for his security and other protocol requirements in view of his position, Jagan contended. On 1 November, the court, however, rejected his plea and directed that he appear for trial every Friday, PTI reported.
Though he did not file an appeal in the high court against the trial court's order, Jagan had not been attending the trial proceedings citing his official engagements as the reason for his absence.
Not impressed by this, the special court judge had on 3 January, directed that Jagan attend the proceedings on the 10th. Sources said the chief minister would return to Amaravati after attending court proceedings on Friday, 10 January.
CM Jagan Reddy would go to Hyderabad again on Saturday, 11 January, afternoon for an overnight stay and see off his two daughters for their foreign destinations on Sunday, 12 January. On Monday, 13 January, he is expected to have a formal meeting with his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao to discuss a host of issues related to the two Telugu states, the sources added, PTI reported.
TDP Slams Jagan for Using Public Money for Court Appearance
Meanwhile, the Opposition Telugu Desam Party said public money should not be spent on Jagan's court appearance as he faced trial in his personal capacity.
“The charge sheets were filed against Jagan in his personal capacity. He was not chief minister at that time. So, he should personally bear the expenditure for court appearances.”Varla Ramaiah, TDP Politburo Member
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)