02-11-201902-11-2019 09:34:30 IST
2019-11-02T04:04:30.768Z02-11-2019 2019-11-02T04:04:26.180Z - - 08-04-2020
In a major setback for Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, a special CBI court at Hyderabad dismissed his petition seeking exemption from personal appearances. Jagas is supposed to appear at the court personally for the hearings of disproportionate assets case.
Concurring with the contentions of the CBI that exemption should not be given to Jagan Mohan Reddy from appearing before the court based on the designation and post he holds, the judge rejected Mr Reddy’s petition, saying, “all are equal before the law.” The CBI court reminded the petitioner of earlier HC orders, which had rejected his plea to exempt him from personal appearance.
Jagan had filed a petition before the CBI court in September this year, after he became AP Chief Minister, requesting to allow his counsel to represent him during the trial of the cases, scheduled on Fridays.
Jagan had sought exemption on the grounds that he has several responsibilities as Chief Minister and appearing personally in a court situated in Hyderabad and travelling back to Amaravati would “interfere with his discharge of duty.”
At the hearing, the counsel for Jagan informed the court that the Chief Minister’s security protocol would cost up to Rs 60 lakh for each appearance, a burden on state exchequer for making arrangements to enable his personal appearance before the court.
However, countering Jagan's counsel’s contentions, the CBI filed a counter-petition stating that he was the principal beneficiary in several fraudulent transactions of quid pro quo to his firms, and therefore, his appearance in the court during the trial was necessary.
“The petitioner seeking dispensation of his personal attendance in court on whatever grounds, will virtually entail him to liberate himself from lawful restrictions imposed by the court. Exemption would give him an unsolicited liberty to do whatever he wants and influence witnesses behind the iron walls of political, money and muscle powers,” the CBI argued.
Following the hearing of arguments of both parties, the court rejected the YSRCP chief' petition and ruled that he has to appear before the court in Hyderabad every Friday.
Jagan has not attended the court since he became the Chief Minister in May earlier this year.
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