In a major relief to a senior cabinet minister in Andhra Pradesh, a special court on Tuesday did not order his arrest in the YS Jaganmohan Reddy illegal assets case.
The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) special court adjourned the hearing against minister for roads and buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao, a former minister, two IAS officers and others till Oct 9.
Prasada Rao was allowed to leave the court after he deposited a personal bond of Rs.25,000 and two sureties of the like amount.
Prasada Rao appeared before the court amid speculations that he may be arrested for his alleged role in the Vanpic part of the case.
Two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers Manmohan Singh and M. Samuel also appeared before the case.
YSR Congress party president Jaganmohan Reddy, former minister Mopidevi Venkatramna, bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy and industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad were also brought from Chanchalguda Jail to the Nampally Criminal Court complex amid tight security.
The court extended their judicial custody till Oct 9.
The accused were produced in connection with the fourth chargesheet filed by the CBI against them last month.
The court complex was teeming with VIP accused and dozens of their followers. Jaganmohan Reddy's mother Y.S. Vijayalakshmi, wife Bharati and other family members also reached there to meet him.
Prasada Rao had submitted his resignation to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy a day after he was named in the charge sheet.
The chief minister is yet to take a decision on the resignation.
The CBI in May this year had arrested excise minister Mopidevi Venkataramana. He resigned from the cabinet the same day.
Prasada Rao was holding the revenue portfolio and Mopidevi was in charge of infrastructure and investment in the cabinet of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, father of Jaganmohan Reddy.
The CBI believes the ministers violated norms to extend several concessions to Nimmagadda Prasad, one of the promoters of Vadrevu and Nizampatnam Ports and Industrial Corridor (Vanpic).
According to the investigating agency, 28,000 acres of land was allotted to Vanpic, for which the then government of Rajasekhara Reddy had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ras Al Khaimah.
The project was allegedly favoured by the government in return for the investments Prasad made in the companies owned by the chief minister's son Jaganmohan Reddy.
Rajasekhara Reddy died in a helicopter crash on Sep 2, 2009.