In what seemed more trouble for Andhra Pradesh's Leader of Opposition YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) tweeted on Saturday that it had conducted raids on shell companies linked to him.
"ED searches at shell companies related to YS Jagan Reddy, Rajeshwar Exports & others to unearth their modus operandi,"(sic) the ED said on Twitter.
According to the directorate, the shell companies linked to the YSR Congress party chief were among the bogus firms targeted by it, as part of a nation-wide crackdown.
Following the ED tweet, several local Telugu TV channels carried the story on air.
However, in a turn of events, Jagan's lawyers have now sent a legal notice to three channels ABN Andhra Jyothi, ETV and TV9 for 'airing damaging content', without 'verifying facts and failing to stick to the rule of objectivity.'
"The manner in which the three news channels have been telecasting the issue blending false information with unverified and unconfirmed news is highly objectionable and legal action has been initiated against the telecast which is damaging to the office YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is holding and his stature in public life," a press release by the YSRC said.
Claiming that the TV channels "resorted to telecast unverified, and unauthenticated allegations", the legal notice states that "it is a part of a design to launch a smear campaign against my client (Jagan), who has no nexus or connection with any shell entity including Rajeshwar Exports."
Jagan is learnt to have already addressed the ED in this issue.
The legal notice further states, "My client considers this dissemination of news, which is not even verified or confirmed, as a blatant attempt to defame my client in the eyes of public with prior intent and motive. Purporting to act on such a tweet, your channel has gone ahead and connected my client to alleged Rajeshwar Exports including on the quantum of monies allegedly involved without any verification."
The legal notice asks the channels to refrain from telecasting any such news concerning Jagan's alleged association with such entities, failing which they shall be liable for legal action
Recently the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a petition in a special court in Hyderabad, seeking cancellation of bail of Jaganmohan Reddy in the illegal assets case for allegedly violating his bail conditions.
Jagan, as the businessman-politician is known, spent 16 months in jail before he was granted bail in September 2013.
The CBI has so far filed 11 chargesheets in the case against Jagan and others.
The case relates to alleged investments made by private firms and individual investors in Jagan's companies in return for the favours they received when his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh during 2004-09.
Jagan is also facing investigations by the ED for alleged money laundering. It has so far attached properties valued at Rs 2,524 crore in the case.