Chennai: The CBI on Wednesday arrested PWD contractor and former board member of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Sekhar Reddy and his business associate V. Srinivasulu under IPC sections of criminal conspiracy and cheating and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
I-T sleuths had seized a total of Rs 131 crore in cash including Rs 34 crore worth new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and 177 kg gold from them during raids two weeks ago. After the two arrests, CBI sleuths are now expected to start hunting for bankers who helped Mr Reddy to get Rs 34 crore worth new notes.
The special principal court for CBI cases remanded Mr Reddy and Mr Sreenivasulu to judicial custody. Principal special judge court for CBI cases G. Vijayalakshmi remanded them at Puzhal prison up to January 3.
Soon after producing them before the court on Wednesday, the duo sought bail from the court. In the bail petition, they said they were innocent and the amount seized by the authorities was lawfully earned.
Sekhar & Co. earn Rs 1.5-crore in cash daily
They said they run a company, JSR Infra. On December 8, the I-T department raised Mr Sekhar Reddy’s residences and other office premises. They were engaged in sand mining business since 2003 for PWD.
They have 425 lorries and 180 poclains, which were hired for sand mining. They earn about Rs 25,000-30,000 from each lorry and Rs 19,500 from each poclain per day. They generate revenue of Rs 1.5 crore in cash across the state every day. The new currencies worth Rs 34 crore were daily hiring charges collection from lorries and poclains since demonetisation.
In the last few years, their company's turnover touched Rs 125 crore and they were paying tax regularly and nothing unusual for Rs 34 crore business income found in hand. All the revenue has been reported and tax paid, they said. Meanwhile, CBI filed a petition seeking custody of the accused. The judge adjourned the bail petition and police custody petition to December 23.
Sekhar started as small-time contractor
The CBI on Wednesday arrested businessman J. Sekhar Reddy and his associate K. Srinivasulu after Income Tax searches at his residence and office in Chennai resulted in seizure of 127 kg of gold and over `170 crore in cash post demonetisation. Sekhar Reddy, 47, hails from Thondan Thualsi village near Katpadi in Vellore district.
He was a small time contractor who used to lay cement and village roads. From there, he moved to railway contract and from there he made his contacts with TN MLAs to get tenders of work for their constituency development fund.
He was once a roommate of an incumbent AIADMK minister and through him happened to meet a doctor from the Sasikala clan. He had access to Tirupati Devasthanam Board through his friend in the railway union. Though he was just an AIADMK member, (he joined the party in 1998) he wielded enormous influence in corridors of power. Tamil Nadu chief secretary Mr Rama Mohana Rao reportedly trusted him and made his son Vivek a business partner of Reddy....