A special court on Monday permitted the CBI to prosecute a senior Andhra Pradesh minister,Dharmana Prasada Rao, and a former minister, Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, in a case related to YSR Congress party leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy's disproportionate assets.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court allowed the investigating agency to prosecute roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao and former minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana under the Anti-Corruption Act. The court also directed them to appear before it on January 31.
The court upheld the CBI's contention that it does not require any permission from the government to prosecute them.
The state cabinet in November last year had rejected the CBI's request to sanction Dharmana Rao's prosecution. However, governor ESL Narasimhan did not endorse this decision and returned the relevant files to the government.
The CBI in August last year filed a charge sheet naming Mopidevi and Dharmana Rao as accused number four and five in the case relating to allotment of land to Vodarevu and Nizampatnam Ports and Industrial Corridor (Vanpic) project.
Following this, Dharmana Rao sent his resignation to chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy but the latter is yet to take a decision on it.
Mopidevi was arrested by the CBI in May last year and is since lodged in Chanchalguda Jail along with Jaganmohan Reddy and industrialist and one of the Vanpic promoters Nimmagadda Prasad.
Dharmana Rao and Mopidevi allegedly abused their positions to favour Vanpic promoters in return for the investments they allegedly made in the companies of Jaganmohan Reddy, son of then chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy.
Dharmana Rao was minister for revenue in Rajasekhara Reddy's government while Mopidevi, who was minister for excise at the time of his arrest, was then holding the investment portfolio.