Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy has been included as one among the 201 witnesses in the charge-sheet filed in court by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scam.

She figured in the list at number 53 while the then Under Secretary of the Department of Mines Anil Subrahmanyam stood at number one. The witnesses also included 15 CBI officials who investigated the case (from number 187 to 201) and several others from various agencies, including banks and ports. The CBI had recorded witness statements from all of them and appended the documents to the charge sheet, sources said.

The CBI, however, secured witness statements given to magistrate in the case of five mine owners – Konda Reddy, Tapala Ekambaram, H. Mallikarjuna, V. Anjaneya and C.N. Murthy.

In the statement recorded by the CBI at her residence on the night of October 26, the Home Minister was said to have disclosed that she signed the note file forwarded to her by Y. Srilakshmi, Secretary of Industries and Commerce, with the words “captive mining”. The words were missing when the GO sanctioning the mining lease in favour of OMC was issued. The OMC exported the iron ore and made huge profits in the absence of the condition that the mine be used only for captive purpose.

She was also said to have asked the CBI not to attach any significance to signing of the file and returning it to the Secretary within a single day.

CBI against bail to Gali

The CBI on Friday filed a counter to the bail application by former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivas Reddy saying there was no merit in their claim that they should be released on bail since Ms. Srilakshmi was let off pending permission from the government to prosecute her. There could be no comparison of Reddys with Ms. Srilakshmi because they were the main perpetrators of the crime, the agency said.

The CBI opposed bail to the Reddys on the ground that they were ‘dangerous' people who might target witnesses if released. Some witnesses were already given round-the-clock police protection. A group recently threatened a witness for deposing against the Reddys, the document said.

Minister says she signed the note file forwarded to her by Y. Srilakshmi with the words “captive mining”