In major relief to YSRCP President and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the appellate tribunal for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to release assets worth Rs 746 crore belonging to Jagan and his wife Bharathi, which had been attached as part of an investigation.
Jagan faces a slew of cases against him which are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). This includes seven cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), and 11 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act pending against him.
According to media reports, in its order, the tribunal observed that the attachment of property was done in a hurry and also questioned the ED's move to attach the bonafide business transactions of Jagan, against which he had paid capital gain tax.The tribunal also stated that the ED had undervalued immovable assets in a bid to attach more properties.
The attached properties worth Rs 746 crore include Rs 569.57 crore belonging to Jagan and his group of companies, Rs 22.31 crore belonging to his wife Bharathi Reddy and another Rs 154.29 crore of Bharathi Cements Corporation Private Limited and Group.
The tribunal has now directed the ED to release all attachments made by the investigating agency, until final orders are passed in the matter.
The cases that Jagan is being investigated for, relates to alleged investments made by private firms and individual investors in the YSRCP chief's companies in return for favours they received when his father YS Rajasekhar Reddy was Chief Minister between 2004 and 2009.
While Jagan has claimed that the cases were filed by the then Congress government after a bitter public spat, and has dubbed it 'political vendetta', several chargesheets have been filed against him and properties worth several crore have also been attached.
Investigation officials had earlier said that Jagan laundered the proceeds of his alleged crime through his group of companies which included Sandur Power, Classic Realty, Silicon Builders, Saraswati Power and Industries and 10 other firms in the form of investments, purchase of movable and immovable properties and third party payments.