CBI charge sheet on illegal mining before Dec 3

The investigating agency claimed to have secured strong evidence against Janardhana Reddy, his brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy, former director of mines V.D. Rajagopal and Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Y. Srilakshmi.

The CBI official told reporters that they may include more accused in the charge sheet and did not rule out questioning a retired IAS official.

The CBI has collected evidence to prove that the illegal iron ore mining was done in Karnataka but the iron ore was sold and exported in the name of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), which had mining leases in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.

The official said Janardhana Reddy's aide Ali Khan was absconding. A lookout notice was issued and all airports were alerted to prevent him from fleeing the country.

The investigating agency hopes Ali Khan's arrest would help it gather more evidence from the material found in the mining baron's laptop.

The investigators secured records from the transport department of Karnataka to prove that the iron ore illegally mined there was transported to OMC mining area across the border in Andhra Pradesh.

They found that the officials in Andhra Pradesh violated captive mining guidelines while according leases to OMC.

The official said they gathered the information relating to four files from Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, who was then the minister for mines. He ruled out questioning her again.

He also made it clear that there was no need for further questioning of YSR Congress Party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and senior IAS officer M.G.V.K. Bhanu, who was special secretary to then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The investigators found the statements of witnesses Konda Reddy and Sashi Kumar as crucial in the case. They alleged that the officials rejected their applications for mining leases to favour OMC.

The CBI in 2009 registered a case of cheating, criminal conspiracy theft and criminal trespass against OMC and others.

Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy, who were arrested Sep 5, are lodged in a jail here. The CBI also arrested Rajagopal while Srilakhsmi was questioned many times.

Janardhana Reddy, who served as minister in Karnataka's first BJP government, is also facing a CBI probe for illegal mining in that state.

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