Monday, October 2, 2023

Malla Reddy, kin face I-T raids storm, Rs 4 crore cash recovered

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Income Tax (I-T) sleuths raided the residences of State Labour Minster Chamakura Malla Reddy, his sons, son-in-law and other relatives on Tuesday. A total of Rs 4 crore in cash was reportedly recovered from the residences of the minister’s associates and relatives. 

Sources said that I-T officials had received a tip-off claiming that authorities of CMR medical colleges were showing that seats were being filled under the convener quota while it they were being filled under the management quota. The fees collected under the management quota seats was allegedly being diverted to other businesses of the Malla Reddy group in order to avoid paying taxes.

As many as 52 teams arrived at the minister’s residence in Bowenpally at the crack of dawn and continued searching till late into the night. As per the complaints, the teams conducted searches in over 45 places in Hyderabad and the erstwhile Rangareddy district. 

I-T teams also conducted searches at the minister’s son’s residence at Kompally Palm Meadows and that of son-in-law Marri Rajasekhar Reddy at the same time. The teams also carried out searches in Jeedimetla and the colleges near Medchal. Malla Reddy’s sons Mahender Reddy and Badhra Reddy are directors in CMR colleges. 

The teams conducted raids at the minister’s residence and other places with the protection of CRPF personnel. The agency found Rs 2 crore at the residence of Trisul Reddy, who runs a college and is a close relative of the minister. I-T officials also seized Rs 2 crore unaccounted cash at the Jeedimetla residence of Raghunath Reddy, who is a close associate of Mahender Reddy.

The teams initially encountered a problem when they tried to search the residence of Santosh Reddy, who looks after the minister’s finances, when the latter refused to open the door. Officials then broke open the door and entered his residence at Jeedimetla. Sources said Santosh Reddy is the key person who handles Malla Reddy’s finances related to real estate and other businesses.I-T officials also carried out searches at Suchitra residence of Laxma Reddy, who is a relative of Malla Reddy. The teams collected several land documents from the residence.

A team of officials also searched Marri Rajasekhar Reddy’s residence, but since he is reportedly in Turkey with his family, they gained access into the building with the help of a locksmith. They found two lockers at his home. Despite several attempts, I-T sleuths failed to open the digital lockers and instead, seized them. Another team conducted searches at Malla Reddy’s brother Gopal Reddy’s residence. Sources said Gopal, who is the chairman of CMR colleges, tried to run away from the residence but the officials stopped him and continued their search. They later said that the officials only found clothes in two cupboards. 

Another team carried out searches at the residence of B Rajeswar Rao, vice-chairman of Kranthi Cooperative Urban Bank in Balanagar. He is close to the minister and sources stated that Rajeswar Rao was also one of the directors in Marri Rajasekhar Reddy’s company. The teams made inquiries in the bank about transactions in the accounts held by Malla Reddy institutions.When I-T teams reached the minister’s residence in Bowenpally, the staff tried to hide the mobile and several documents in a jute bag, but the sleuths seized them.

Irregularities in returns

Another team conducted searches on the minister’s close relative, Praveen Reddy, who lives at Ashoka Villas in Dhulapally Road, Kompally. Praveen Reddy takes care of Malla Reddy University. I-T teams found several irregularities in the returns filed for two years. This led to the suspicion that the offence may have been committed by accepting cash and not online payment when they sold management quota seats.

Sources say that I-T officials took Praveen Reddy to an unknown location in order to trace some documents. Officials found a large sum of cash in his residence, which is being counted with the help of three machines. Sources said that the cash is related to Malla Reddy University but officials suspect that the amount recovered is unaccounted cash.

Family in control

I-T teams found that minister Malla Reddy and his family members, including 10 relatives, are operating educational institutions, petrol bunks, real estate businesses, shopping malls, dairies and construction businesses

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