HMDA planning director Purushotham Reddy knew how to spend; nobody knows how he earned
By Mouli Mareedu | Express News Service | Published: 13th February 2018 02:01 AM |
HYDERABAD: A whopping Rs 40 lakh was allegedly spent on just buying liquor by suspended HMDA planning director Katta Purushotham Reddy for his daughter’s wedding. Anti-Corruption Bureau officials, who are investigating the officer for illegally amassing wealth, have stumbled upon visuals and evidences from the wedding ceremony indicating the wealth he owned.The filmy style invitation card designed for his daughter’s sangeet ceremony, that was held on November 18, 2016, itself speaks of the grandeur. Guests were invited to “Reddy’s theatre” for the sangeet “preview show”. Minimum tax, the invite said, was “four pegs” and surcharge was “on the house”. The invite advised guests to “enjoy the show, get drunk and go home safe.”
Interestingly, all the wedding expenditure was paid not by Purushotham Reddy, but by this co-brother Radha Charan Reddy through cheques. Radha Charan Reddy also happens to be the groom’s father. “Learning from a case that was slapped against him in 2009, Reddy had invested all his ill-gotten gains on his benamis,” said a senior official who is part of the investigation.
The wedding that happened at the N Convention Centre in Madhapur was a lavish affair, say sleuths based on visuals of the ceremony. Reddy is understood to have gifted diamond necklace sets, diamond waist chains, gold necklaces and chains to his daughter. The entire family, probe officials say, was glittering in gold. However, when quizzed, they claimed to have borrowed the jewellery from their relatives for the function. ACB officials seized another gift that was given by Reddy to his daughter. A commercial complex in Moosapet worth over Rs 3.2 crore. They are still trying to trace the diamond-studded ornaments gifted during the wedding. In all, the suspect Reddy could have property worth over Rs 300 crore.
How he escaped the first time
In 1985, Purushotham Reddy joined as building overseer in Directorate of Country and Town Planning (DCTP) office. Few years later, he moved to GHMC and HMDA on deputation. On July 15, 2009, the Hyderabad Range ACB officials registered illegal assets case and arrested Purushotham Reddy when he was working as Additional Chief City Planner of GHMC. At the time of arrest, the ACB seized illegal assets worth `5 crore. All the assets were acquired between 1985 and 2009. Reddy was sent to judicial remand for 52 days and lodged in jail. After obtaining bail, Reddy started lobbying to be reinstated. In 2012, he managed to get a posting after the government issued an order to stop prosecution and drop the case. Following the Government’s order, the ACB returned all seized assets to him and withdrew the case.
Reddy is understood to have a strong network among top-level officials. This, investigators suspect, might have helped him get leads about the fresh case that was filed on February 2 forcing him to flee. The ACB has formed more than 20 teams across the State to keep a close vigil on Purushotham Reddy who is currently absconding. It’s suspected that the officer is constantly shifting his base to avoid arrest. A senior official involved in the investigation told Express that Reddy running away indicated he was involved in illegal activities by misusing his official powers.
Absconding official files anticipatory bail petition
Hyderabad: Katta Purushotham Reddy on Monday approached the Hyderabad High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the cases registered by the Anti Corruption Bureau for amassing wealth beyond his income. The matter is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday. In another related case, Justice A V Sesha Sai directed the ACB to file a detailed counter affidavit to a petition filed by Gaddam Nipun Reddy, Purushotham’s son-in-law and his suspected benami, alleging harassment by the ACB officials.
Petitioner’s counsel B Chandrasen Reddy pointed out that the ACB officials, without issue of notice under section 41-A CrPC, have been threatening the petitioner and his family members including his wife, sister-in-law and brother-in-law that they would be arrested without there being any evidence against them. On the other hand, standing counsel for ACB V Ravi Kiran Rao pointed out that neither the petitioner nor his family were cooperating with ACB officials with regard to the whereabouts of Reddy and his ill-gotten money. Later, the judge directed the ACB to file counter affidavit as serious allegations were made against the ACB officers.