The Central Bureau of Investigation’s Anti Crime Branch, Bangalore, on Monday filed a charge sheet against former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, his personal assistant Mehfuz Ali Khan and five others in connection with the Belekeri iron ore export scam.
The accused, by illegally exporting iron ore, have caused a wrongful loss of Rs 198 crore to the State exchequer, the CBI has said in the charge sheet.
In an official statement issued here, the CBI said: “On completion of investigation, a charge sheet has been filed against Reddy, Khan, S Muthaiah, the then deputy conservator of forests, Bellary, S P Raju, the then deputy director of mines and geology, Hospet, Manoj Kumar Shukla, the then conservator of forests, Bellary and two private persons, Swastik Nagaraj and Kharadapudi Mahesh.”
Shukla, according to sources, was arrested on Friday.
The charge sheet has been filed under Sections 120-B read with 409, 420, 434, 447, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13(2) read with Sections 13(1)(c) and (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The CBI had registered a criminal case against S B Logistics, S Muthaiah and S P Raju on September 7, 2012, pursuant to the directions of the Supreme Court.
Noting that the agency is continuing the investigation, the statement said: “The allegation as per the charge sheet are that the accused persons were parties to a criminal conspiracy entered among themselves in Bellary and other places during 2009-10 to commit various offences.”
It said that in pursuant to such an agreement, they excavated iron ore illegally from various mines/forest areas in Bellary and surrounding areas, sold the same to various traders and transported the said ore to Belekeri port for export, causing a loss of Rs 198 crore to the State exchequer.
The CBI in Karnataka had filed an FIR against 20 people besides Reddy and his wife Aruna in connection with illegal quarrying by Associated Mining Company, owned by the couple.