Former AP official held in illegal mining case

Former AP official held in illegal mining case

Rajagopal will be produced in court today

Rajagopal, who has been quizzed by the agency since Friday, is the third person to be arrested in the case, after Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law and OMC Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy.

Rajagopal  had to spend his Saturday night in the CBI office at King Kothi and was produced before a magistrate later in the day.  He will again be produced before a magistrate in the CBI designated court on Monday. 

Sources said the CBI has plans to present Rajagopal as an approver after he had conceded that the OMC was given a red carpet treatment during the tenure of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy while other applicants for the mining land were sidelined willfully.

Grilled by CBI

Rajagopal was questioned several times by the CBI in the last two months for his alleged role in granting leases and licences to the OMC and other mining companies in violation of rules.

Rajagopal, who was the director of mines department from 2005 to 2010, allegedly played a role in granting lime stone mines to Penna Cement which had allegedly made quid pro quo investments in Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s media house.

Rajagopal had also granted lime stone mine leases to Bharati Cement in which Jagan and others had investments.

The company was later sold to a French conglomerate for a high premium.
The role of Rajagopal had been exposed after the CBI  quizzed  Srilakshmi, IAS, who was the secretary for mining department during 2007 when the OMC mining leases for 68.95 hectares were renewed and GO-151 was issued  on June  18, 2007.

 Earlier in October,  the CBI had raided the house of Rajagopal in Hyderabad and seized valuable documents with regard to disproportionate wealth amassed by him during his tenure in office.

Janardhana Reddy and  B V Srinivas Reddy were taken into custody from their Bellary  home in Karnataka on September 5 and are lodged in the Chanchalguda Central jail here after a week-long questioning in CBI custody .

On December 7, 2009, the CBI had registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against the OMC and others.

They were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Forest Act and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.