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CBI to GRILL Jagan on Friday, Hyderabad tense

Last updated on: May 24, 2012 13:09 IST

CBI to GRILL Jagan on Friday, Hyderabad tense

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An arrest in this case is imminent, but it may not take place immediately, says Vicky Nanjappa

Anticipating trouble, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure prohibiting unlawful assembly has been clamped in Hyderabad, ahead of Jagan Mohan Reddy's questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Jagan will be questioned by the CBI in connection with the disproportionate assets case on Friday at 10 am.

Jagan and his followers are tense as they perceive the CBI's interrogation as the step before the agency arrests the YSR Congress president.

Jagan, who is currently campaigning at Guntur, is likely to be questioned the entire day, according to sources. Jagan has vowed to cooperate with the CBI as he "has nothing to hide".

This is the first time that the CBI will question YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy since it took over the investigations.  The agency has already filed a preliminary chargesheet against him and other co-accused in the case.

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Image: Jagan Mohan Reddy


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CBI to GRILL Jagan on Friday, Hyderabad tense

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Till now, Jagan has even claimed innocence on the ground that if the CBI had anything against him, it would have called him for questioning.

Aware of the high-profile nature of this case, the CBI has preferred to rely on the verdict of the court before taking any steps. The agency first approached the Special CBI court which granted it the permission to question Jagan.

When the YSR Congress chief challenged the court's order before the Andhra Pradesh high court, it refused to interfere with the order of the Special CBI court.

Speculations about Jagan's arrest have been doing the rounds since the CBI began its probe. The former Congress leader had taken cover under Section 41 A of the CrPC which clearly states that no arrest can be carried out unless and until a notice of appearance is served and the accused questioned.

Today, the scenario is different and the CBI has the power to arrest Jagan after questioning him.

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CBI to GRILL Jagan on Friday, Hyderabad tense

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According to sources, although an arrest in this case is imminent, it may not take place immediately. The CBI will continue to go by the book and will prefer the court to issue directives on how it should proceed.

This case has a lot of political ramifications and any move by the CBI may be termed as vendetta by the ruling Congress. It is a well-known fact that Jagan is the biggest worry for the party in Andhra Pradesh.

The CBI will now focus on only Jagan as it has concluded the investigation of his associates.

CBI sleuths will now question him, verify the evidence they have, corroborate it and then file a final chargesheet in the case and present it to the court. The court may then order Jagan's arrest.

Prior to this procedure, if the CBI feels that Jagan is likely to abscond or tamper with the evidence, the agency could arrest him even without an order from the court. But this is an unlikely scenario.

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CBI to GRILL Jagan on Friday, Hyderabad tense

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Some political observers in Andhra Pradesh feel a compromise formula is likely at the end of this political and legal drama, but it would depend on how much Jagan is willing to fight with the state Congress.

The likelihood of Jagan allying with the Congress just before the elections cannot be ruled out as he has few available options in view of the many cases against him.

Jagan can choose to continue this battle. If he is arrested, he can ask his mother to take over the control of the party until he is cleared. The Congress is aware that Jagan's mother Y S Vijayalakshmi, wife of the late Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy, is quite capable of causing more damage as she has the sympathy factor under her belt.

Congress leaders from Telangana and other parts of the state have convinced the high command that Jagan, not the movement for a separate state, should be their biggest worry right now. Unless this issue is dealt with, the future of the party will look bleak in the state, the Congress high command has been told.

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