The Obulapuram Mining Company Pvt Ltd (OMCPL),owned by former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy,earned over Rs 4,300 crore from illegally selling iron ore,the CBI’s chargesheet says.
The central agency,probing into the allegations of illegal mining and irregularities committed in allotment of mining leases to OMCPL in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh,filed the chargesheet against OMCPL,Janardhan Reddy,his brother-in-law and the firm’s Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy,former Mining and Geology Dept. director V D Rajagopal and the then Assistant Director of Mines and Geology Dept late R Linga Reddy last month.
According to the chargesheet,the total amount earned by OMCPL through local sales and exports worked out to Rs 4,310 crore during the 2007-10 period.
It was from this income that Janardhan Reddy purchased a helicopter,stationed in Bangalore,chargesheet says.
The Reddys and Rajagopal are presently under judicial remand and lodged in the Chanchalguda jail here.
The chargesheet further says that Reddys entered into a criminal conspiracy with public servants including late Linga Reddy,Rajagopal,suspended IAS officer and then secretary (Industries and Commerce department) Y Srilakshmi; and ensured that the mining leases for area of 68.5 hectares and 39.5 hectare were granted to OMC.
Reddy’s application was processed unduly fast by the Industries and Commerce department,it says.
The Reddys passed off the ore excavated illegally in Karnataka as the product of OMCPL after transporting the ore with the permits obtained in Anantapur for AGK Mines,the CBI alleges,adding “the actual excavated iron ore within 68.5 hectares was only 40,387 tons.”
Srilakshmi was a part of the criminal conspiracy and favoured OMCPL at the expense of other bidders,CBI says.
“Srilakshmi issued two Government Orders on June 18,2007 sanctioning mining lease for iron ore in two stretches of 68.5 hectares (Anthara Gangamma Konda of D Hirehal mandal in Anantapur district) and 39.5 hectares (in Obulapuram village) in favour of OMCPL,rejecting other applicants,” the chargesheet says.
The GOs did not specify the clause ‘Captive Mining’,though OMC itself had applied for lease stating its intention to set up a steel plant in Kadapa district. This caused pecuniary gain to OMC,CBI alleges.
Rajagopal and Srilakshmi demanded bribes running into crores of rupees for grant of prospective mining lease to C Sashi Kumar,a bidder,the chargesheet adds. Investigation in Kumar’s case was in progress,it says.
The CBI has accused Srinivas Reddy and Janardhan Reddy of conspiring with Rajagopal to ensure that the leases would not be granted to other bidders,since such allotments would have exposed their illegal activity. “The Reddys prevailed upon political leaders. One applicant,Konda Reddy,who represented RS Minerals and who had obtained forest clearance was made to withdraw the mining lease application,” it says.
Gali and others encroached on mining areas of different companies located around lease area of OMCPL and carried out illegal mining,the CBI alleges,adding that OMCPL also laid roads illegally,linking to AGK mines (owned by OMCPL) for illegal transportation of iron ore.