Probe graft charges against ministers, court directs CBI

HYDERABAD — In what is being viewed as a significant development, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe allegations of corruption against Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy and Excise Minister M Venktaramana.

By P S Jayaram

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2011, 9:39 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:07 AM

Justice L Narasimha Reddy took suo moto cognisance of another Minister Dr P Shankar Rao’s public statement, making allegations of corrupt practices against his own cabinet colleagues. Rao, who holds the Handlooms and Textiles portfolio, is known for his maverick ways and is at present locked in a bitter war of words with the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy as well.

The court took note of media reports quoting Shankar Rao as alleging that the two ministers had amassed huge wealth by illegal means. He had particularly targeted the Home Minister, accusing her of receiving huge kickbacks for favourable postings and transfers in the police department. Taking note of the allegations, the judge said that they needed to be probed by the CBI. However, the judge transferred the matter to another bench of the High Court for examination and further action. Asked about the court’s directive, Sabita said “I will not comment till I see the order.” However, Shankar Rao welcomed the court’s order and said a thorough inquiry by the CBI would help ferret out facts. Rao alleged that Sabita was using her son and brother as “conduits” to earn millions of rupees in the transfers and postings of police officials. “Her son and brother have virtually opened counters to collect money. I brought this to the notice of the Chief Minister but he has turned a blind eye to my complaints,” the Ministersaid.

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