Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s selective targeting of income-tax officials may give him marginal political edge over Telugu Desam but the same is leading to a compromise with his crusade against corruption at every level of government.
In fact, this could possibly put the government in a tight spot, particularly with regard to one particular case in Andhra Pradesh High Court. This pertains to financial irregularities allegedly during the tenure of some IRS officials, who were on deputation with the state government during the Telugu Desam regime.
The officials held important positions in industries, health and mines departments.
While the state government has already suspended senior tax official Jasti Krishna Kishore and ordered ACB and CID probes, it has let off another official, Ch Venkata Gopinath. The government on Saturday accepted his request for cancellation of the deputation and repatriation to the parent department.
Mr Gopinath, son-in-law of senior TD leader Yanamala Ramakrish-nudu, was managing director of AP Medical Infra-structure Corporation. The ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) prima facie found irregularities in the corporation during his tenure and proposed to register a criminal case by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) against all public servants involved in the irregularities.
The then Chief Secretary, Mr L.V. Subrahmanyam, sought permission from the Chief Minister to register a case and the matter is pending with the latter.
The Chief Minister’s decision to let off Mr Gopinath comes at a time when the Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu is crying foul over the action initiated against Mr Krishna Kishore. He even alleged that Mr Kishore was paying the price for slapping tax notices on the CM’s media houses when he was income tax commissioner in Hyderabad a few years back.
“There is no truth in Naidu’s allegations. Had we been vindictive, why did we relieve Gopinath from state service? We could have ordered similar probe against him also. We act on merits,” a senior YSRC minister said.
But, it is clear strategy of the YSRC bosses to corner the Telugu Desam, which cannot find fault with Mr Gopinath’s repatriation because he is a son-in-law of the party senior leader.
Relevant documents, which are in possession of Deccan Chronicle establish that relieving Mr Gopinath is purely a political decision and merits of the case speak otherwise. Sources said Mr Gopinath’s name figured in relation to a public interest litigation filed by one I. Venkata Rama Raju against alleged irregularities in awarding a contract to M/s TBS Telematic and Bio Medical Services India Pvt Ltd.
“Krishna Kishore was not allowed to go back to the parent department so that a probe could be ordered against him. Gopinath was cleared despite the High Court direction to conduct a thorough enquiry into allegations and the Chief Secretary seeking CM’s permission in this regard,” a senior official said adding that it has to be seen whether the decision to let-off the official comes under judicial scrutiny....