Former Andhra minister charge sheeted in illegal mining case

Hyderabad, April 9: The CBI Wednesday filed a supplementary charge sheet against a former Andhra Pradesh minister and a retired bureaucrat in illegal mining case involving former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named former home minister P.Sabitha Indra Reddy and former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and then secretary of mines, B. Kripanandam in the supplementary charge sheet filed in Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) case in a special court here.

OMC is owned by mining baron Janardhana Reddy, who is in jail for over two years now and is facing similar cases in Karnataka.

The OMC case related to lease granted to the company for mining iron ore in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka in alleged violation of all rules.

The CBI has charged Sabitha Indra Reddy and Kripanandam with cheating, criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and corruption. They were accused of favouring the company.

Sabitha was minister of mines in Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s government (2004-2009) when the OMC was given the lease.

The CBI said its investigations revealed that the then minister and secretary allegedly issued provisional mining lease for 68.50 hectares in favour of Bellary-based private company without any justification and also violating the provisions of Mines and Minerals (Development Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) and Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.

“Later, in addition to the said mining lease of 68.50 Ha, the accused persons also allegedly approved the grant of mining lease of 39.50 Ha in favour of Bellary based private company in violation of MMDR Act, 1957,” a CBI statement said.

Sabitha resigned as minister last year after the CBI named her in a chargesheet filed in the quid pro quo investment case involving YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy. She was named in the case relating to allotment of limestone lease to Dalmia Cements in Kadapa district in 2008.

IANS