YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy is set to walk out of jail after nearly 16 months with a special CBI court today granting him bail in a DA case, a development that could lend fresh political muscle to the ongoing movement for a united Andhra Pradesh - CBI had targetted a number of high profile industrialists in top India Inc companies, including India Cements, Aurobindo Pharma, Dalmia Cements and more.
Special CBI court judge U Durgaprasada Rao granted bail to the 40-year-old leader on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
The conditional bail, however, restrains Y S Jaganmohan Reddy from leaving Hyderabad without the court's permission. While granting bail, the court also directed the YSR Congress leader not to directly or indirectly induce or influence witnesses and be present before the court during the proceedings.
The CBI can approach the court for cancellation of the bail in case of violation of any of these conditions.
The case relates to investments made by various companies in Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's firms in return for alleged undue favours extended to them, including land and water allotments, during the tenure of his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy as Chief Minister between 2004 and 2009.
Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's release, at a time when protests are raging across the state over its proposed bifurcation, comes as a huge relief for the party, which is the only political entity openly favouring a unified Andhra Pradesh.
His freedom could galvanise his party, particularly in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, witnessing most of the protests over the proposed creation of Telangana. Despite the movement having popular support, the protests have so far been devoid of a mass leader and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy could fill the slot, analysts feel.
The court premises erupted in celebrations as soon as the order was read out with YSR Congress leaders and supporters bursting firecrackers and exchanging sweets.
Jaganmohan's repeated bail applications had been rejected by in the past with CBI contending that he could influence the witnesses and thus the trial.
In his bail plea, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had sought his release in view of the ongoing agitation in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as there was a need for him to be with the people and