The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the bail plea of YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy in a corruption case, saying his release from jail will hamper the investigation of the "high magnitude" case.
A bench headed by justice P Sathasivam also said that the possibility of witnesses being influenced and tampering of evidence cannot be ruled out if Jaganmohan is released on bail.
The bench also noted that there were cases against him in which the Central Bureau of Investigation is yet to complete its investigation.
The court asked the CBI to complete the investigation within four months and file the charge sheet.
It also said after the filing of the charge sheet, Jaganmohan would be at liberty to move the concerned trial court which would consider his bail plea on its own merit, without being influenced by this judgement.
The YSR Congress leader had moved the apex court challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court's January 24 order refusing to grant him bail.
Jaganmohan, who was arrested on May 27, last year by CBI on charges of corruption is at present under judicial custody at the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad.
In October last year also the apex court had dismissed Reddy's bail plea in the case, saying he was open to renew his bail before the trial court "on completion of investigation by CBI" on certain aspects.
CBI had then told the court that it would be filing a final charge sheet on Sandur Power, Bharati/Raghuram Cements, Dalmia Cements, India Cements and Kolkata-based suitcase companies allegedly sending money to Reddy's companies, including Lepakshi knowledge hub project and Indu Projects.
The agency has filed several charge sheets against Jaganmohan, an MP from Kadapa, and others.
It has accused him and his late father and the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy of hatching a conspiracy to defraud the government. According to it, Jaganmohan allegedly influenced his father in doling out certain favours to various players, who made investments of several crores of rupees into his businesses as a quid pro quo.
Several ministers, who had also served in YSR Reddy's cabinet, and officials are under the CBI's scanner for allegedly issuing controversial orders, allotting land, granting mining licences and other favours to various companies promoted by Jaganmohan.