HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday asked the CBI to justify its charge against India Cements in the YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case, citing former irrigation minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s statement in the Supreme Court that no illegality was involved in allocation of water to the former BCCI president N Srinivasan’s company.
Justice B Siva Sankara Rao was dealing with a petition filed by India Cements managing director N Srinivasan urging the court to quash the case registered against him. The CBI has charged him with entering into a conspiracy with the then YS Rajasekhara Reddy regime and getting several land and water allotments to his company. In return, he invested about `140 crore in Jagan’s companies, the CBI alleged.
During the hearing, the judge asked the CBI counsel P Kesava Rao, “You (CBI) say that the water allotment from Kagna river in Tandur of Ranga Reddy district to Visakha Cements of Srinivasan was wrong. But the then irrigation minister (Ponnala Lakshmaiah) who oversaw this water allotment argued before the Supreme Court that water gets evaporated if not allocated on time and that there was no illegality in the matter. How do you explain or defend your action in this regard?”
Further, the judge posed questions on alleged bribes or investments in the case. “The so-called bribes or investments have been coming into Jagan firms from the end of 2006 onwards and what is the correlation between the investments and the movement of India Cements files at the AP secretariat? How would it (CBI) make Srinivasan responsible for the action of his company which deals with several persons as part of its business?,” the judge asked.
The CBI counsel earlier narrated the sequence of events that took place between Srinivasan’s company’s investments in Jagan firms and the file movement pertaining to the benefits that were given to India Cements by the erstwhile united AP state.While posting the matter to Nov 2 for further hearing, the judge extended the exemption from personal appearance given to Srinivasan till then.