The income-tax officials have issued notice to the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, former Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and 12 former ministers in connection with a diary seized when the IT officials raided the residence of businessman Sekhar Reddy in 2016 and two of his associates soon after when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in November 2016.
Reddy was a contractor at the Public Works Department. During the search, the officials seized over Rs 140 crore cash and it was reported that over Rs 34 crore was seized in the then newly-printed 2,000 rupee notes, along with gold approximately weighing above 120 kg from various places in Chennai and Vellore districts. However, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate registered cases against Sekhar Reddy for engaging in money laundering and illegally hoarding the new 2,000 rupee notes.
Later, “Sekhar Reddy and his associates were arrested by CBI and ED officials on charges of money laundering”, The Hindu daily reported.
As the CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch registered three separate FIRs relating to the seizure against the accused, while the Madras High Court quashed all the three FIRs for ‘want of evidence.’ Apart from this, a diary was seized when Income Tax officials raided the residence of Sekhar Reddy. Sources said the diary contains the names of 14 people, including former CM Edappadi Palaniswami and ex-deputy CM O Panneerselvam and former ministers including C Vijayabaskar, RB Udhayakumar, Sellur Raju, Thangamani, MC Sampath. The diary is also said to contain details of payments made to EPS, OPS and former ministers during the AIADMK regime.
In the meantime, the IT Department has summoned EPS, OPS and 12 former ministers seeking an explanation of the names in the diary seized from Sekhar Reddy’s residence. According to the department, Senthil Balaji, who left the AIADMK and is currently a minister in the DMK government, has also been summoned.
The department has issued a summons seeking clarification as the cases related to the raid at the residence were considered to be closed. “The CBI has found no evidence to prosecute industrialist J Sekhar Reddy and his associates in the sensational cash seizure case of 2016″, told The Hindu. Earlier, the Andhra Pradesh government removed Sekhar Reddy as a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) board following the seizure of enormous cash. Later, when the cases were closed, he was back on TTD Board.
With inputs from News18