Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy was named by the Central Bureau of Investigation as one of the accused in its fifth chargesheet in connection with the disproportionate assets case against YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy. The agency filed its fifth chargesheet before a special CBI court in Hyderabad naming Jagan and naming 12 other individuals, and firms.
This comes as a major embarrassment for the Kiran Kumar Reddy government. The CM is expected to seek the resignation of the HM on Monday night.
Sabita is the third minister from the state to figure in five chargsheets filed by CBI in connection with properties allegedly amassed by the Kadapa MP, which were disproportionate to his known sources of income. The others made accused include Jagan's aide Vijay Sai Reddy, Vice President Dalmia Cements Punit Dalmia, Indian Administrative Service officer Y Sri Lakshmi and the then director mines in Andhra Pradesh V D Raja Gopal among others.
The 62-page document pertains to alleged investments made by Dalmia Cements and two other cement firms -- Eeswar cements and Raghuram Cements in businesses promoted by Jagan who is currently in jail.
The CBI alleged that Dalmia Cements was allotted limestone mines in Andhra Pradesh during YS Rajasekhara Reddy rule at a throw-away prices.Sabita Indra Reddy had held the portfolio of mines minister during the YSR rule.
Sitting Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and former mnister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, who is now in judicial custody, were also named as accused in cases against Jagan.
All the three had held ministerial berths in the state cabinet headed by Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (2004-09), the period during which his son Jagan is accused of amassing illegal wealth.
The chargesheet, which cites 53 documents and 43 witnesses, has been and filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Dalmia Cements and other cement firms were under the CBI scanner for alleged benefits they got in the form of limestone mines in return for investments in Jagan-promoted companies. The probe agency has charged these firms with making investment to the tune of several crores in the Jagan-owned entities.
Srilakshmi is a former secretary of mines department, while Rajagopal headed the AP Mining Development Corporation. Both are also accused in the OMC illegal mining case involving former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.
The agency, in its four chargesheets filed earlier, has alleged Jagan and his father had hatched a conspiracy to defraud the government. According to the chargesheets, the state government granted favours to certain firms, which made investments (at a very high premium) in Jagan's businesses as a quid pro quo.
Jagan, arrested on May 27 last year, is currently in judicial remand and lodged at the Chanchalguda Central Prison in Hyderabad.
The CBI had earlier told the Supreme Court that it would complete investigations in the Jagan case by March 31, 2013. After failing to meet the deadline, the agency said it would expedite its probe.
With inputs from PTI