Hyderabad: With the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking sanction of the Andhra Pradesh government to prosecute senior cabinet minister Dharmana Prasada Rao in the case of YS Jaganmohan Reddy`s illegal assets, the minister Sunday claimed he was innocent.
Minister for Roads and Buildings Dharmana Prasada Rao, who submitted his resignation last month after the CBI filed a chargesheet against him, told reporters here Sunday that he met Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy Saturday night and offered an explanation.
The chief minister has still to take a decision on the resignation submitted by his cabinet colleague, but he is expected to respond soon to the CBI`s request for sanction to prosecute Rao.
The CBI special court has summoned Rao and two senior bureaucrats to appear before the court on Sep 25. The summons were issued with regard to the fourth chargesheet filed in the case Aug 13.
The court also issued prisoner transit warrants for Jaganmohan Reddy, former minister Mopidevi Venkataramana and industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, who are all lodged in a jail here.
The charges relate to allotment of 28,000 acres of land to Vadrevu and Nizampatnam Ports & Industrial Corridor (Vanpic), for which the then government of YS Rajasekhara Reddy had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ras Al Khaimah emirate of UAE.
The CBI in May this year had arrested Venkataramana, the excise minister. He resigned from the cabinet the same day.
Dharmana Rao was holding revenue portfolio and Venkataramana infrastructure and investment in the cabinet of Rajasekhara Reddy.
Dharmana Rao, however, told reporters Sunday that he did no wrong and only discharged his duties as a minister.
"Without a cabinet decision, not a single acre of land can be allotted by the revenue minister or even the chief minister to any person or any organisation. The business rules are very clear in this regard," he said.
The minister said the CBI had only made some charges against him; he could not be considered convicted on the basis of the charges, unless they are proved in court. Rao said he was condifent that his innocence would be established.