Hyderabad, Jul 13 : After coming under the Income Tax Department scanner over the allegedly dubious manner in which he amassed wealth, YSR Congress president and MP-elect Y S Jaganmohan Reddy will now face a tougher probe by the CBI on the same charges, based on a directive from Andhra Pradesh High Court.
The High Court, which treated a letter written by senior Congress MLA and current minister P Shankar Rao as a writ petition, today ordered the CBI to conduct a “preliminary investigation” into the amassing of wealth by Jaganmohan Reddy and submit a report within two weeks.
Telugu Desam Party leaders K Yerran Naidu, Byreddy Rajasekhara Reddy and others too impleaded in the case and presented evidence as to how Jagan earned over Rs one lakh crore in a short period when his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the state Chief Minister between 2004 and 2009. After hearing the arguments of the petitioners and the defendants, the High Court ordered for a preliminary investigation by the CBI even as Jagan is facing notices from the I-T department.
In fact, the I-T department clearly established that several crores of rupees accrued to Jagan in a dubious fashion through certain non-existent companies that invested heavily in some businesses floated by him.
Interestingly, the I-T Department noted that investments were made as a quid pro quo to the favours they garnered from the Andhra Pradesh government when Jagan's father was the Chief Minister.
Jagan, however, contested the Department's claims and the issue is still pending even as the High Court case came up. “The High Court verdict in Jagan's case today is a victory of democracy. We had to ultimately approach the High Court as our fight against Jagan's ill-gotten wealth, both inside and outside Parliament, proved futile,” former Union Minister Yerran Naidu said.
State Health Minister D L Ravindra Reddy said it was time for Jagan to prove his innocence through the CBI inquiry. “Jagan should prove how he acquired so much wealth in such a short time. We alleged several times in the past that he got it through illicit means and we have enough evidence to prove it. We will submit the evidence if the CBI requests,” Ravindra Reddy, who unsuccessfully contested against Jagan in the recent by-election to Kadapa Lok Sabha seat, said. “If charges against Jagan are proven, he will meet the same fate as the accused in the 2G spectrum scandal,” the minister remarked.
Shankar Rao, whose letter to the High Court resulted in the case, welcomed the High Court order today.
Leader of Opposition in AP Legislative Council DadiVeerabhadra Rao said the Central government should wake up at least now and order detailed inquiry into the unbridled corruption during the YSR regime.
YSR Congress spokesman Ambati Rambabu said in Vijayawada that their leader would not run away from facing the CBI probe. PTI