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Illegal mining: CBI chargesheets Janardhana Reddy

Last updated on: December 03, 2011 14:27 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday filed a chargesheet in a special court in the illegal mining case involving Obulapuram Mining Company owned by former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.

The chargesheet was filed against Janardhana Reddy, his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy (also the managing director of the mining company) and against former director of mines and geology (Andhra Pradesh) V D Rajagopal and OMC, CBI Joint Director (Hyderabad Zone) V V Lakshmi Narayana said.

The Reddys, who were arrested on September 5 from Bellary in Karnataka are presently in judicial custody and lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Prison here along with Rajagopal, who was arrested subsequently.

They have been charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and Section 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.    

OMC is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and indulging in illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest area, spread between Bellary district of Karnataka and Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The CBI had registered the case against the company on December 7, 2009 at the request of Andhra Pradesh government in the wake of allegations of illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of mining leases to OMC in Obulapuram and Malpanagudi villages of Anantapur district of the state.

 The CBI had earlier alleged that mining and extraction of 29.30 lakh tonnes of iron-ore was done in several areas (in Karnataka) other than the leased area of 68.5 hectares held by OMC, owned by Janardhana Reddy.

The probe agency had also arrested a senior Indian Administrative Service officer Y Srilakshmi on charges of abusing her official position and favouring OMC on November 28.

The agency had further alleged that illegal mining has been mainly carried out by the accused (Reddys) by creating forged documents with conspiracy with public servants and secured evidence from transporters to show that iron ore extracted in Bellary of Karnataka was shown as the product of OMC in Obulapuram of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Following their arrest and after interrogation by the CBI, the Reddys (Janardhana Reddy and B V Srinivas Reddy) had subsequently filed a quash petition in the Andhra Pradesh high court.

The CBI is probing the "link" between mining activities in Bellary district of Karnataka and Anantapur district allegedly involving Reddy brothers after a directive to the central agency from Supreme Court in September this year. Laxminarayana said the 186-page charge sheet cites 201 witnesses, 607 documents running into thousands of pages and includes several material objects.

According to the chargesheet, Gali Janardhana Reddy and Srinivasa Reddy entered into a criminal conspiracy with V D Rajagopal and late R Linga Reddy, the then Assistant Director (Mines and Geology in Anantapur district,) Y Srilakshmi and others and got mining leases allotted to M/s OMC Limited and indulged in illegal mining activities amounting to lakhs of tonnes of iron ore.

Laxminarayana further said in the investigation scientific technique like satellite imageries and latest/advanced surveying methods have been used to establish the aspect of illegal mining.

 In addition, forensic accounting techniques have been utilised to analyse the computer hard disks, laptops, mobile phones and data retrieval technique As collection of evidence with regard to certain allegations in respect of Srilakshmi, the then secretary, Industries and Commerce, Andhra Pradesh, are in progress, her name was not included in the chargesheet, the senior CBI official said.

 

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