Rejecting the objections raised by Jagan to the ED plea, the court, which had on July 2 reserved its orders, gave the go-ahead for the central agency to question Jagan from July 7 to 21. Principal special judge U Durga Prasada Rao said the quizzing should be done only during daytime and in the presence of Jagan’s counsel. “He should be given documentary and secretarial assistance during the questioning, if the same is sought by him,” the judge said.
The ED is tracking the flow of the proceeds of the crime in the Jagan assets case -- both under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The ED’s investigation unit from Delhi is also independently moving ahead to attach these properties which are identified as proceeds of crime under section 5 of the PMLA.
The special judge, while brushing aside the objections on questioning an accused in the jail raised by Jagan’s counsel, cited the judgment of the AP high court that allowed the ED to question Ramalinga Raju and other accused in the Satyam scam in the jail, and allowed the ED to question Jagan in the jail in this case as well.
In his counter, the MP urged the court to dismiss the petition. Jagan argued that he is no longer chairman or director of Jagati Publications, the investments into which have come under the ED scanner. Jagati Publications, which publishes Telugu daily `Sakshi,’ allegedly received investments from firms based abroad in return for the favours doled out to them by then government of YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Responding to the plea of the ED to examine Jagan on charges of moneylaundering as a representative of Jagati Publications, Jagan filed the counter-affidavit in the CBI court stating that the company had appointed its secretary CPN Karthik to appear in all inquiries and legal proceedings and hence he be exempted from the questioning under section 305 of CrPC.
However, the ED argued that Jagan's resignation from Jagati Publications was immaterial as the agency suspected him of contravening provisions of the PMLA. The judge said that the ED has got powers under section 52 of the PMLA to question Jagan which will have overriding effect on Sec 305. It may be recalled the ED had questioned last month industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, suspended bureaucrat B P Acharya and another official K V Brahmananda Reddy in Chanchalguda Jail in connection with the case.
Jagan was arrested by the CBI on May 27.