The CBI Special Court on Tuesday granted three-day CBI custody to senior IAS officer Y Sri Lakshmi for further interrogation into the Obulapuram Mining Corporation’s illegal mining case.
Sri Lakshmi, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday for her alleged role in the OMC scam, was produced before the CBI Special Court in the Criminal Courts Complex at Nampally here on Tuesday. The court first remanded Sri Lakshmi to judicial custody till December 12. However, the CBI filed a petition in the court seeking 15-day custody for further investigation.
After hearing the CBI’s plea, the court allowed the CBI to interrogate Sri Lakshmi for three days. It directed the CBI to produce her before the court on December 1 by 4 pm. The court also asked the CBI to interrogate her in the presence of her lawyers.
Meanwhile, Sri Lakshmi filed a petition seeking Special Category Prisoner status for her in the jail. The court posted the matter for hearing on December 2.
Earlier, the probing agency conducted Sri Lakshmi’s medical examination at its office at Sultan Bazar in Koti where she was kept since Monday evening on court’s order.
It may be mentioned that Sri Lakshmi was arrested from her office at the Health and Family Welfare Commissionarate at Koti on Monday. She is the second IAS fficer to be arrested in the OMC case, booked by the CBI in 2009. Earlier, IAS officer and former mines director V Rajagopal was arrested as the third accused in the case. OMC owner and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law and OMC’s managing director B Srinivas Reddy were arrested from Bellary earlier.
Sri Lakshmi has been booked under various sections including 420, 120 (B) and 385 for her alleged role in the OMC scam. She has reportedly confessed of having allotted the Antha Gangamma Konda (AGK) mines, spread over three locations in Anantapur district, to Gali Janardhan Reddy’s OMC in violation of the Mines and Minerals Development Regulations Act, 1957.
However, she said that the allotment was done under pressure from the higher ups. She has reportedly named the then minister for mines and geology and present home minister P Sabita Indra Reddy and senior IAS officer M G V K Bhanu who pressurised her to sign the leases to OMC. (INN)