Woman IAS Officer Sent To Jail In Illegal Mining Case

Hyderabad: A special court Thursday sent Y. Srilakshmi, a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official in Andhra Pradesh, to jail in the illegal mining case involving Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) of former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.
The special court dealing with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases also posted to Friday its orders on the bail petition of the officer. The CBI presented her in the court Thursday evening after her three-day custody ended.
The investigating agency, which had arrested Srilakshmi, the family welfare commissioner, on Nov 28, sought her custody again but the court remanded her to judicial custody till Dec 12.
The court rejected the appeal by the 1988-batch IAS officer that she be allowed to stay in the CBI office in view of her health problems. The CBI later shifted Srilakshmi to Chanchalgunda women’s prison, where she was lodged in barrack number nine and was allotted undertrial number 4322.
Srilakshmi, who is the fourth accused in the case, allegedly favoured OMC by granting iron ore licence as the secretary industries incharge of mines in the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government.
It was on Tuesday that the court had remanded her to CBI custody for three days.
The state government Thursday suspended the official after CBI informed the government about her arrest. The CBI informed Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi, who issued orders suspending her. As per the rules, a government employee is suspended if he or she spends 48 hours in detention.
Meanwhile, CBI opposed her bail petition. The CBI counsel told the court that she deleted word “captive mining” from the mining lease order under a criminal conspiracy, thus allowing to plunder iron ore.
The investigating agency also said it was not proper on Srilakshmi’s part to blame then mining minister Sabita Indra Reddy as it is the responsibility of the secretary to guide the minister in such matters.
Sabita Indra Reddy, who is now the home minister, was holding mines portfolio when OMC was granted iron ore mining lease. The CBI has already questioned her in the case.
The CBI also told the court that the IAS official was submitting false certificates to show that she is not well. It pointed out that government doctors who examined her found her healthy.
Srilakshmi, in her bail petition, blamed Sabita, saying the lease was issued after obtaining her approval. The IAS officer, who is wife of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer M. Gopalakrishna, is facing charges of criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy and cheating.
Janardhana Reddy and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivasa Reddy were arrested from Bellary in Karnataka on Sep 5. Former mines director V.D. Rajagopal was arrested on Nov 13. All the three were lodged in Chanchalguda Central Jail.

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