The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday launched a major search and seizure operation across several cities, including Hyderabad and Bangalore, on the houses and offices of Kadapa MP Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, on his companies and dozens of other firms and individuals who made investments in to his business ventures .
CBI filed two separate first information reports (FIRs) in Jagan ( as the son of former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy is popularly known) and Emaar-Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation cases yesterday acting on the AP High Court orders.
About 15 teams of CBI conducted searches on the properties of Jagan and people close to him apart from the offices of several companies that are directly or indirectly linked to him in Hyderabad. An additional seven teams undertook similar operations in Bangalore, Chennai, Rajkot, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi. The investigation agency has reportedly identified over 90 locations for their ongoing search operations.
The CBI also raided the house of a senior IAS officer B P Acharya, principal secretary, home department, who had earlier worked as chairman and managing director of the state-owned APIIC.
The properties searched include Jagan's sprawling multi storied house- cum- office at Lotus Pond in the posh Jubilee Hills area, offices of his Sakshi newspaper and Bharati Cement in the city. Jagan's house in his native Pulivendula town in Kadapa district and other premises in Visakhapatnam have also reported to have been searched on Thursday, the first day of CBI's operations after filing the FIRs.
The CBI also searched the houses and offices of Parthasarathi Reddy, chairman of Hetero group, Nimmagadda Prasad, chairman of Matrix group, Pratap Reddy, chairman of Penna group of companies, Shyam Prasad Reddy, chairman of Indu group, L Sridhar, promoter of Jubilee Media and Vijayasai Reddy, vice chairman of Jagati Publications belonging to Jagan. All of them have either made investments in Jagan's firms or considered as the persons who channelised Jagan's benami investments.
In Bangalore, the teams searched the palatial house of Jagan and the offices of Carmel Asia, Sandoor Power and other companies owned by the beleagured leader. It has also reportedly raided the office of Mantri Developers, which is alleged to have close business dealings with Jagan.
The investigation agency is looking for more evidences that amount to violations under the acts of prevention of corruption, criminal conspiracy and money laundering as mentioned by AP High Court. The division bench last week had ordered full probe on Jagan's assets while declaring prima facie satisfaction in the 'quid pro quo' arrangement through which the firms had invested in Jagan's companies in return to the alleged favours received by them from the state government when his father was the chief minister. About 52 respondents were named in the writ petition filed against Jagan's alleged illegal amassment of wealth. However, on Thursday's raids indicated that the CBI is going beyond this list to pursue the case to its logical end.
CBI Joint Director Laxminarayana, who is heading the ongoing operations, said the total duration to complete the searches would be known only after gathering the material and information collected across various locations.
High court ordered CBI probe on Jagan based on the letters addressed to the chief justice by the state textiles minister P Shankar Rao requesting an inquiry into Jagan's assets. A couple of leaders belonging to the opposition Telugu Desam Party filed separate writ petitions against Jagan on similar grounds of corruption and illegal amassment of wealth.
Jagan, who floated his own YSR Congress Party after quitting Congress-I, denied any wrong doing and also alleged that the ongoing inquiry is a part of the conspiracy hatched against his family by the ruling Congress at the Centre and the state.