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Jagan case: AP minister Dharmana Rao appears before CBI court

Hyderabad, Sep 25 (PTI): Andhra Pradesh Minister for Roads and Buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao, an accused in the case pertaining to alleged quid-pro-quo deals involving YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, appeared before a special Central Bureau of Investigation court here on Tuesday.

The minister and two senior IAS officers, also accused in the case appeared before the court of principal special judge for CBI cases which had earlier summoned them after taking cognisance of the fourth charge sheet filed against Rao and senior bureaucrats Manmohan Singh and M Samuel besides the Kadapa MP.

The court had also directed all the 14 accused named in the chargesheet to appear before it on Tuesday.

The chargesheet pertains to the Vanpic port cum industrial corridor project, whose promoter industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, allegedly invested Rs 854 crore in the companies belonging to Jagan towards a largesse for which the then AP government, led by late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, doled out many favours in the form of awarding the project.

Dharmana was named as accused number 5 in the Vanpic aspect of the Jagan assets case in the charge sheet that was filed before the trial court by the CBI on August 14. He was the revenue minister in the YSR regime between 2004-2009 including the period when the Vanpic project was conceived.

It was alleged that as revenue minister in 2008-09, ”Dharmana Prasada Rao played a key role in fixing low market price for the Vanpic land and acted more in connivance with another accused Nimmagadda Prasad.”

The minister has already submitted his resignation to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, though it was yet to be accepted.

Samuel is currently Chief Commissioner of land administration while Manmohan Singh is Principal Secretary in the Animal Husbandry department.

The charge sheet also names Jagan's financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy, followed by Nimmagadda Prasad alias Matrix Prasad, former Minister Mopidevi Venkatramana Rao,IAS officers Manmohan Singh and M Samuel, senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy, Nimmagadda Prakash, Vanpic Projects Pvt Ltd, Jagati Publications Pvt Ltd, Raghuram Cement Corporation Pvt Ltd and Bharati Cement Corporation Pvt Ltd for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and others under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.