The CBI on Saturday charged former Karnataka tourism minister Gali janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law BV Srinivas Reddy for illegally mining around 60 lakh tonne iron ore between 2007 and 2010. The chargesheet pertains to the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) case only. The CBI is investigating two more cases with regard to the mining scam in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The present cost of 60 lakh tonne of iron ore would be around R42,000 crore. According to steel industry estimates, in 2007, iorn ore was selling at around R2,800 per tonne and now the rate has jumped to around R7,000 per tonne.
"We have given year-wise quantities of illegally mined iron ore in a table in the chargesheet. The cost of iron ore keeps changing in the international market," said CBI joint director VV Lakshminarayana, who is supervising probe in Hyderabad.
Janardhana Reddy is director of Obulapuram Mining Company Pvt Ltd (OMCPL), while BV Srinivas Reddy is managing director of the firm. Besides Janardhana Reddy and Srinivas Reddy, the CBI has also charged former director of mines and geology (Andhra Pradesh) VD Rajagopal, the then assistant director of mines and geology R Linga Reddy and the Bellary based OMCPL itself as accused in the chargesheet.
A CBI spokesperson in Delhi clarified that the chargesheet does not name IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, who was arrested on November 28 on charges of abusing her official position and favouring the OMCPL as the investigation against her is still on. The CBI will file a supplementary chargesheet in the case.
"In the investigation, techniques like the satellite imageries and advanced surveying methods were used to establish the aspect of illegal mining," said a CBI official.
The data retrieved from hard disks, mobile phones also establish charges.