The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday filed a 186-page charge sheet in the vexatious scam involving 60-lakh tonnes of illegally mined iron ore by former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy-owned Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).
The investigating agency had registered the case on the request of Andhra Pradesh government in December 2009 but the probe was stayed by High Court within a week. The stay was vacated in December 2010 after which the probe picked up momentum resulting in the arrest of Mr. Janardhan Reddy and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivas Reddy on September 5.
Apart from OMC itself, Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Srinivas Reddy, the accused named in the charge sheet included former Director, Mines, V.D. Rajagopal, and former Assistant Director of Mines R. Linga Reddy who died subsequently. The last named was not in the FIR.
They were charged under IPC Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) (criminal misconduct) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The name of suspended IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi who was arrested, given to police custody, lodged in jail and released on bail in the case was omitted from the charge sheet as the CBI was yet to get permission of the Central government to prosecute her. Section 19 of Prevention of Corruption Act required the sanction of the appointing authority (in this case President of India since she is an IAS officer) for prosecution of a public servant. She is the fourth accused in the FIR registered by CBI.
The CBI deposited in the court voluminous copies of the charge sheet and other annexures that ran into 60,000 pages on the last day of the stipulated 90-day period permitted since the first arrest in the case. They were shifted by a truck in ten trunk boxes.
The charge sheet was enclosed with names of 201 witnesses, 607 documents and several material objects. It was established that Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Srinivas Reddy entered into a criminal conspiracy with Mr. Rajagopal, late Linga Reddy, Ms. Srilakshmi and others to get mining leases for OMC and thereby indulge in illegal mining, a note released by CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshmi Narayana said.
Indicating the inclusion of Ms. Srilakshmi's name in the supplementary charge sheet, Mr. Lakshmi Narayana told media persons later that the present document pertained only to the accused against whom investigation was completed. The names of others would be added when the probe into their role was over.
Meanwhile, the court today extended the judicial remand of Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Srinivas Reddy who are lodged in Chanchalguda jail here up to December 15.