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CBI shocker to Sabitha, Dharmana

CBI shocker to Sabitha, Dharmana
Highlights

Probe agency seeks judicial custody of the two ex-ministers Hyderabad: Former Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and former Roads and...

Probe agency seeks judicial custody of the two ex-ministers

Hyderabad: Former Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and former Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao who appeared before the special CBI court on Friday were shocked when the CBI sought judicial custody of them in the YSR Congress Party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy's disproportionate assets case.

Sabitha appeared before the court in connection with the process to begin trial in the fifth chargesheet filed by the CBI in the disproportionate assets case registered against Jagan. She had been named as accused number four in the case following which she had to quit her post.

sabitha indra reddy

As the CBI filed the memo seeking judicial custody of Sabitha and Dharmana, the former Home Minister went pale and appeared to be shocked. The CBI in its memo said that the accused, if remain outside, could influence evidences.

Arguing on these lines the agency cited statements given by the former ministers to news channels saying that their presence outside could hamper further probe into the case. So as to buttress this contention the CBI submitted copies of video CD, telecast by news channels, in which the former ministers said that they 'would come out clean' since they did nothing wrong. The probe agency, in the memo, said that such statements influence the witnesses and further probe could be hampered resulting in a hurdle for a fair trial and justice.

Hence, the CBI urged the court to send the former ministers to judicial custody in the interest of fair trial and justice. The court is likely to decide the fate of the two accused in a day or two.

Meanwhile, the CBI filed yet another memo on Friday urging the special court to take cognizance of the offences punishable under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against Dharmana. The memo said that since he is no longer a minister and continuing only as a legislator, there is no need for prior sanction from the government for prosecuting him under sections 9 and 12 of PC Act.

On May 13, the special court had to withdraw the cognizance of PC Act offences charged against Dharmana following an order of the AP High Court. CBI did not appeal against the withdrawal at that time since Dharmana was a cabinet minister.

However, the probe agency filed a fresh memo on Friday taking advantage of Dharmana's resignation from the cabinet. The court is yet to take a decision on it. Sabitha is the third former minister after Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao and Dharmana Prasada Rao to face charges in Jagan's case. Last month, Sabitha resigned as home minister and Dharmana as roads and buildings ministers after they were named as accused by the CBI.

Sabitha, Jagan and other accused in Dalmia Cements episode of the case appeared in the special court on Friday in response to the summons issued by the court on May 14 in connection with the fifth chargesheet filed by the CBI in April about the role of Dalmia Cements and other firms in the case. The court directed the accused, including Sabitha, to furnish a personal bonds of Rs25,000 and two sureties each of like amount.

The accused also include Dalmia Cements managing director Punit Dalmia, suspended IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi and the then Andhra Pradesh director of mines VD Rajagopal. Srilakshmi and Rajagopal are also accused in illegal mining case involving former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.

The fifth charge sheet relates to the investments made by Dalmia Cements, Eeswar Cements and Raghuram Cements in the companies owned by Jagan in return for the favours they allegedly received from the government when Jagan's father YS Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister.

Sabitha, who was minister for mines during 2004-09, was charged with misuse of office as a public servant in granting limestone mining lease in an extent of 407.05 hectares in Thalamanchipatnam village of Mylavaram mandal, to Dalmia Cements in Kadapa district in 2008 for 30 years. Mopidevi, an accused in VANPIC episode of the case, is in judicial custody since May last year. Dharmana was also named as an accused in the same aspect of the case in August last year.

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