ED told to release Rs 746 crore YS Jagan Mohan Reddy assets

The case dates back to 2011, when the CBI booked a case against Jagan, his wife and some companies.

Hyderabad: In a major jolt to the Enforcement Directorate, the appellate tribunal for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act directed the agency to release assets worth Rs 746 crore belonging to AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his wife Bharathi Reddy.

The direction was issued on July 26. The tribunal observed that there were loopholes in the ED’s investigation and indicated that the attachment of property was done in a hurry.

The assets that are to be released include Rs 569 crore of Mr Reddy and group, Rs 22.31 crore of Ms Bharathi Reddy and Rs 154 crore of Bharathi Cements Corporation Private Limited.

The case dates back to 2011, when the CBI booked a case against Mr Reddy, his wife and some companies. It was alleged that Mr Reddy entered into a criminal conspiracy with certain public officials and got a mining lease wrongfully awarded in favour of Bharathi Cement (called Raghuram Cements at that time) in violation of the statutory provisions.

The CBI alleged that on the basis of the lease he proceeded to establish the cement company. Based on CBI’s FIR, the ED registered the case and attached assets.

Regarding the CBI’s allegations, the tribunal said it does not wish to express any opinion on merits and the same have to be considered as per the law. The tribunal said its order was passed with regard to the attachment of properties and confirmation.

During the course of investigation, the ED had alleged that Rs 416.20 crore was realised by Mr Reddy from the sale of his shares in Bharathi Cement to Parficim SAS, France, and the same was ‘proceeds of crime’.

The tribunal observed that investigation showed that it was a genuine business transaction and profit made from selling the shares cannot be treated as proceeds of crime.

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