Court refuses judicial custody of former Andhra ministers

Hyderabad, Aug 7 : Two former ministers of Andhra Pradesh received reprieve when a special court here Wednesday rejected a CBI plea seeking their judicial custody in the alleged illegal assets case involving YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sought judicial custody of former ministers Sabitha Indra Reddy and Dharmana Prasada Rao, both accused in the case.

The court rejected the petition saying there is no evidence that they could influence witnesses if not taken into custody.

The investigating agency in June had submitted to the court a CD containing clippings of their interaction with media which, it argued, could influence the investigations. It also gave in writing to the court the statements made by the two former ministers.

Sabitha resigned as home minister and Dharmana as roads and buildings minister in May after the CBI named them as accused in the case.

Sabitha was named as an accused in the fifth charge sheet filed by the CBI in April. She was charged with criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, cheating and misuse of office.

Sabitha, as the minister for mines and geology in the YSR cabinet, had allotted 407 hectares of land belonging to the state in Kadapa district for limestone mining to Eshwar Cements, which was later transferred to Dalmia Cements, which had invested in the Jaganmohan Reddy's Bharati Cements.

Dharmana was named in the fourth charge sheet in August last year.

--IANS (Posted on 07-08-2013)

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