HYDERABAD: Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s cup of woes contniues to overflow.
Former minister and MLA from Secunderabad Cantonment P Shankar Rao has held Reddy and others responsible for ‘illegal’ disposal of confiscated red sandalwood worth about Rs 500 crore.
Shankar Rao filed a public interest litigation petition in the High Court on Thursday, seeking a CBI probe into the alleged scam.
The CBI alone can do the job of collecting evidence in the multi-crore red sanders scam, he said and sought punishment of the respondents _ chief minister, forest minister S Vijayarama Raju, special chief secretary (environment & forest) Janaki R Kondapi, chief secretary, principal chief conservator of forests and principal secretary ( environment & forest).
In his petition, the former minister said the CBI should probe the action initiated by the state government (GO Nos. 81, 82 and 101 dated March 2011) wherein it violated the mandatory provision of calling global tenders for disposal of red sandalwood which is available only in the Sri Seshachalam Reserve Forest, and caused huge loss to the public exchequer.
The alleged offence committed by the chief minister and others is not confined to sale of precious 2,022 tonne of the precious wood as another 9,000 tonne of confiscated round logs worth Rs 1,800 crore was lying with the forest department, he added.
Shankar Rao requested the court to direct the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the acts of the chief minister and others who included city-based Zitan Trading Corporation, Andhra Fogaku Pvt Ltd and Singapore-based Power Grip Resources Private Limited in respect of sale of red sandalwood.
“I have received various representations from the public about the red sandal wood scam during my tour of Chi t toor , Kadapa, Kurnool and Nellore districts,” the former minister noted.