Turning the screws again on Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought permission of the Andhra Pradesh government for attaching his properties.
In a communication to the government some time ago, the investigating agency wanted to attach properties of Jagati Publications, which runs Sakshi daily, Indira Television under whose name the television channel operates, and Janani Infra. The CBI has already frozen bank accounts of the three companies, all promoted by Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy.
The assets of Jagati Publications, mainly plant and machinery, were estimated by the CBI with having a value of Rs.243.64 crore while the paid up capital of the company was Rs.1,172 crore.
As the attachment of properties has several implications, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy reportedly referred the CBI's letter to the Advocate-General for his opinion. Ajoyendra Pyal, Principal Secretary, Home, said the government was processing the CBI letter with utmost caution before taking a decision. It is understood that the legal opinion was in favour of attachment of the properties and the ball lies now in the Chief Minister's court.
Once the State government gives its consent, an Administrator will be appointed to receive and manage the properties. CBI sources said the process of identifying properties of the three companies, sifting those which have been acquired with tainted money and taking them over will require about six months. On completion of this process, the CBI would file a petition in the court for attachment and stalling all transactions covering these properties.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate too stepped into the picture on Thursday. Its plea for getting a copy of the first of the three charge-sheets filed by the CBI in the illegal assets case against Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy was accepted by the Special Court for CBI cases. The ED proposes to investigate into violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act by Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy's companies.
As the CBI has cast its net far and wide, naming nearly 75 persons and companies in the FIR, more people are being investigated. The agency has summoned for questioning on May 21, a Minister, Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, who held the portfolio of Infrastructure and Investments when the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was Chief Minister. This is the second time the Minister is being summoned over his role in allotment of 13,000 acres of land in Guntur and Prakasam districts to industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad for setting up the Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Ports and Industrial Corridor.