Jagan’s firm knocks court

Jagan & Sakshi which had no faith in courts with no other option left before them knocks court doors for help a day after their bank accounts were frozen on CBI direction, Kadapa MP Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s three companies, including Sakshi TV, on Wednesday moved court seeking defreezing of their accounts to carry out day-to-day business even as the agency’s move drew flak from scribes.

In three separate petitions filed in the special CBI court here, representatives of Indira Television Ltd, which runs Telugu news channel Sakshi TV, Jagati Publications Ltd, publisher of `Sakshi’ Telugu newspaper and Janani Infrastructure Pvt Ltd alleged that the the action by CBI was aimed at muzzling the voice of print and electronic media and to cause political advantage to the rivals of Jagan.

The CBI, investigating into alleged disproportionate assets of the YSR Congress chief, has filed three chargesheets in the case and yesterday approached banks for freezing the accounts of the three companies, including the two media entities. Following the development, amounts to tune of Rs2.85 crore in current accounts maintained by the firms in different banks here besides fixed deposit of Rs 103 crore stood frozen.

In the thick of campaigning for June 12 by-elections, the Jagan issue has generated a lot of heat in the political circles in Andhra Pradesh with the ruling Congress seeking to wash its hands off. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said neither the Congress nor the state government have any connection with the CBI inquiry against Jaganmohan.

Jagan’s YSR Congress dubbed the freezing of bank accounts of Sakshi media house as a “move to gag the freedom of press” and “part of a larger conspiracy to close down the newspaper and television by vested interests and competitors.”

Sakshi management has moved the AP Human Rights Commission against the CBI action, saying the livelihood of 20,000 employees was pushed into jeopardy. Journalists took to streets in different parts of Andhra Pradesh protesting the CBI action of freezing bank acccounts of media groups.

The Indian Newspaper Society strongly condemned the freezing of bank accounts of Sakshi Group and claimed this will scuttle the process of opinion building in the build-up to bypolls in Andhra Pradesh.