Srinivasan charge-sheeted in Jagan case, hits back

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Sep 10 (IANS) The CBI Tuesday charge-sheeted self-exiled Indian cricket board president Narayanaswamy Srinivasan in a corruption case involving YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy but he immediately hit back, saying this had nothing to do with him as a sports administrator.

In the charge-sheet relating to India Cements, CBI named Srinivasan, its managing director, as the accused number three.

"Don't mix the business chargesheet with my cricket," was Srinivasan's terse reply when IANS asked whether the development will in any way affect his return from self-exile to head the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and get a third year in office.

The CBI last year had questioned Srinivasan twice about the India Cements had made in Jaganmohan Reddy's firms.

The CBI, in its charge-sheet stated that India Cements allegedly invested Rs.140 crore in Jagan's businesses in return for the benefits it received from the then Andhra Pradesh government that was headed by Jagan's father, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2009.

The CBI filed the chargesheets in the special court, naming 25 accused and charging them under various sections of Indian Penal Code.

The chargesheets relate to India Cements, Penna Cements and Bharati Cements, the three companies which allegedly made quid-pro-quo investments in Jaganmohan Reddy's business.

Srinivasan's company also owns successful IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings whose team principal and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappanis currently out on bail in the IPL betting scandal.

Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popularly known, figures as the accused number one in all three charge sheets while his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy is the number two accused.

The investments by Srinivasan were made into Bharati Cements and Jagati Publications owned by Jagan in return for the benefits India Cements received in the form of additional water allocation for its units in Andhra Pradesh.

Jagan, who is in jail since last May, is facing charges of amassing wealth through quid pro-quo-deals when his father was chief minister from 2004 to 2009.

The federal agency, however, has not named Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah in the charge-sheet. Lakshmaiah, who was irrigation minister in Rajasekhara Reddy's cabinet, was also questioned last year on the water allocation to India Cements.

With this the number of charge-sheets filed in the case so far has gone up to eight. A CBI counsel told reporters that the remaining charge sheets would be file in two to three days.

Srinivasan insisted that India Cements has done nothing wrong and will prove this in a court of law.

"India Cements has done nothing wrong. We will prove it in the court of law," Srinivasan told IANS on the phone from Chennai.

Srinivasan had stepped aside as the BCCI president in the wake of betting scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Asked whether his return as the BCCI chief is in any doubt, Srinivasan said: "Don't mix the two things, I don't want to comment much on that (his status in BCCI)."

Srinivasan insisted that India Cements has done nothing wrong and it will prove it in the court of law.

"India Cements has done nothing wrong. We will prove it in the court of law," Srinivasan told IANS from Chennai.