The Central Bureau of Investigation's Bangalore unit filed the much-awaited charge sheet before the special CBI court here on Wednesday against the former Minister and mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy.
The voluminous charge sheet, with annexures running into several thousand pages, was submitted to the court by the investigating agency. Ostensibly, the documents dealt with alleged irregularities committed by Mr. Reddy's Associated Mining Company, which was floated after another company owned by him (Obulapuram Mining Company) came under the CBI scanner.
Although, senior CBI officials remained tight-lipped about the contents of the charge sheet, sources confirmed that a substantial part of the investigation was informed by documents and connections unearthed by the Karnataka Lokayukta.
The thrust of the CBI's charge sheet is that the AMC was merely a front to cover up large-scale illegal mining. The company purchased a dead mine in the Ramgadh forest area for this purpose. And the real extraction of ore was being carried out at another location.
To corroborate this angle, the CBI sought the help of experts from the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. in Andhra Pradesh.
The team from Singareni conducted a 3D laser survey to ascertain the quantity of ore extracted from the AMC's 16 hectare mine situated on a ridge in the Ramgadh forest of Sandur Taluk in Bellary during the third week of April.
Simultaneously, the team from the IBM conducted a survey to determine the quality of ore available in the mine.
The AMC's records claim that over 8 lakh tonnes of ore was extracted from the Ramgadh mine since August 2009. But the 3D survey has shown that less than 5 per cent of that quantity was actually extracted from the mine.
Also, the company's records show that the extracted ore had 65 per cent ferrous content. But the IBM's survey has shown that a much lower grade of ore was available in the Ramgadh ridge.
CBI sources told The Hindu a large part of the 8 lakh tonnes were extracted illegally by small mining companies situated on the fringes of the Dalmiya mines, which had been temporarily closed by its owners.
The small mining companies encroached upon the Dalmiya mines and stole the high quality ore. But they were having trouble transporting this illegally extracted ore as they did not have the necessary permits and licenses.
To legalise this extraction, Mr. Reddy purchased the mine in Ramgadh and used his clout to secure the necessary permits and licences to extract and transport ore extracted from the Dalmiya mines.