CBI launches massive searches in Jagan, Emaar cases

August 18th, 2011 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 18 (IANS) In one of its biggest operations, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday conducted searches in seven cities across India in cases of alleged amassing of illegal assets by YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and irregularities in the Emaar township project here.

A day after registering the cases, the investigating agency reportedly seized some documents and computer hard disks during the day-long searches.

As many as 15 CBI teams conducted the searches simultaneously at the homes and offices of Jaganmohan Reddy, as also individuals and companies which have invested in his businesses.

According to a statement issued by CBI in New Delhi Thursday, a case has been booked against Jaganmohan Reddy and others on the orders of Andhra Pradesh High Court on the allegation that those who invested in the companies owned and promoted by the MP at very high premiums were as a quid-pro-quo for the favours doled out by the then Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy — Jaganmohan Reddy’s father.

The case has been registered under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 477A (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

“Searches are being conducted at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Rajkot, Delhi and Mumbai in this connection,” the statement said.

Another case under the same sections was booked against real estate firm Emaar, its sister concerns and others on the allegation of execution of a real estate project at Manikonda in Hyderabad with the connivance of certain public servants of the Andhra Pradesh government.

The federal agency will continue the searches in both the cases Friday.

CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshminarayana told reporters here that 15 teams conducted searches in Hyderabad while more teams were conducting searches in other cities.

The searches were conducted at the palatial houses of Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad and Bangalore, the residence of his sister Sharmila in Hyderabad, and his offices in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Jagan, currently on a visit to Andhra’s Krishna district, alleged that Congress and Telugu Desam Party colluded to target him and malign his late father.

“God is watching all of us. The two parties will have to pay a heavy price for this political conspiracy,” he told a public meeting Thursday.

The CBI is trying to gather evidence from the offices of his companies, including Jagati Publications, Indira Television, Bharati Cements, Sandur Power, Mantri Developers, Carmel Asia and also from the offices and properties of those who invested in his businesses.

Armed with search warrants from a special court, the CBI sleuths began the searches at the homes of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer B.P. Acharya, businessman Nimmagadda Prasad and several other individuals and premises of companies.

Acharya was the managing director of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) when Dubai-based Emaar allegedly committed irregularities in developing a township project here.

After allotment of land by APIIC, Emaar allegedly diluted the latter’s equity in the joint venture and roped in another company without permission from APIIC, causing a loss of Rs.5,000 crore to the public exchequer.

CBI officials also conducted searches at the offices of Emaar Properties, the APIIC and others involved in the cases.

The investigating agency Wednesday secured warrants to search 91 locations belonging to 32 corporates and individuals in both the cases.

The companies that allegedly received massive investments, including those routed through tax havens abroad, included Jagati Publications, which publishes Telugu daily Sakshi, Indira Television, which runs the Sakshi television channel, Bharati Cement and Sandur Power.

The petitioners, including a minister belonging to the Congress and leaders of opposition TDP, alleged that Jaganmohan Reddy amassed huge wealth by misusing power when his father was the chief minister 2004-09.

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