Two IAS officers, M. Samuel and Manmohan Singh, also named in fourth charge-sheet
Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and two senior IAS officers, M. Samuel and Manmohan Singh, were prominent among the accused named in the fourth charge-sheet submitted to the court by CBI in the disproportionate assets case against Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
As soon as the news broke, the Minister rushed to New Delhi amid reports that he would meet the Central leadership of the Congress to explain his position. Mr. Rao refused to discuss the issue saying that he could not comment until he read the charge-sheet.
Running into 177 pages, the charge-sheet is totally devoted to irregularities allegedly committed in the implementation of the Rs. 16,000-crore Vanpic project to construct two ports and an industrial corridor in the hinterland over 28,000 acres in Prakasam and Guntur districts.
The CBI has been filing charge-sheets one after another against companies that invested in Jagan’s businesses as a quid-pro-quo for benefits that they got from the government. Aurobindo, Hetero and Ramky groups of companies and Trident Life Sciences were charge-sheeted earlier.
Jagan and his financial advisor, V. Vijay Sai Reddy, were again named as accused number one and two respectively. They were followed by project developer Nimmagadda Prasad, ex-Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, Dharmana Prasada Rao, former special secretary K.V. Brahmananda Reddy, Manmohan Singh, M. Samuel, Nimmagadda Prasad’s brother Prakash, VPPL, Jagati Publications, Bharathi Cement, Carmel Asia Holdings and Silicon Builders. The last four named companies were owned by Jagan.
Mr. Prasada Rao held the portfolio of revenue and Mr. Samuel was the Principal Secretary concerned when the lands were allotted for the project in 2008-09 during the regime of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy. As special secretary of infrastructure and investments department which was appointed as the nodal agency, Brahmananda Reddy signed the agreement with Nimmagadda Prasad for execution of the project.
Four IAS officials
Brahmananda Reddy was succeeded by Mr. Manmohan Singh, now Principal Secretary of Animal Husbandry, who issued orders for acquiring lands from farmers but the CBI has stated that the cost price ranged from Rs. 75,000 to 1.52 lakh an acre whereas they were sold by Prasad for Rs. 12.5 lakh an acre.
The CBI also said Prasad invested Rs. 854.5 crore in Jagan’s companies in return for the award of the project to him. Four IAS officers have figured in the charge-sheets in Jagan’s case with the inclusion of Mr. Singh and Mr. Samuel, now Special Chief Secretary. B.P. Acharya who is in jail in Emaar township scandal and Marketing Commissioner G. Venkataram Reddy were booked earlier.