In another setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, a special court in Hyderabad on Friday dismissed his petition for exemption from personal appearance in court in Enforcement Directorate (ED) cases.
The court also directed him to personally appear in the court for the next hearing on January 31.
Jagan had sought permission for his co-accused Jagati Publications, that publishes Telugu daily 'Sakshi' to represent him.
This is the second jolt to Jagan in the disproportionate assets cases. The court had earlier dismissed his petition for exemption in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases.
Jagan had made his first appearance in the court in the capacity of the Chief Minister on January 10. He, however, obtained exemptions on January 17 and 24, citing important official assignments.
He is the number one accused in five charge sheets filed by the ED in the money laundering case. The ED filed the charge sheets under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and attached the assets of several industrialists and co-accused.
The CBI had filed 11 charge sheets in the disproportionate case registered during 2011-12.
In what is called the 'quid-pro-quo' cases, Jagan was accused of getting investments into his businesses by firms and individuals in return for the undue favours by the government in undivided Andhra Pradesh headed by his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy between 2004 and 2009.
However, the YSRCP leader denied all the charges and termed them as political vendetta.
The CBI arrested Jagan and sent him to jail on May 27, 2012. After 16 months in jail, he was granted bail.
Several former ministers and bureaucrats are also accused in the case. Telangana Education Minister Sabitha Reddy, former AP minister Dharmana Prasada Rao, IAS officer Y Sri Lakshmi and several other bureaucrats appeared before court as they have been named in the Penna Cements quid pro quo case charge-sheets. They were all accused of conspiring and favouring Penna Cements to get land allotments, lime-stones and concessions for setting up a five-star hotel in Hyderabad in order to get return investments in Jagan's firms.