The Madras High Court today sought to know from the CBI why did it not probe bank officials, when its case was that a large quantity of demonetised bank notes was changed with their help by Sekhar Reddy and two others, arrested on charges of money laundering last year. The court sought the reply from the central probe agency while hearing a plea by the sand mining baron and two others, seeking quashing of the cases against them. The petitioners contended that though 10 months had expired since the case was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), no one apart from them had been questioned or arrested by the agency.
Referring to the cases registered by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) against them, the petitioners submitted that the Supreme Court had categorically said that multiple cases could not be filed for the same offences committed by an accused. Recording the submissions, Justice G Jayachandran directed the CBI to file a status report, explaining the details of inquiries conducted and arrests made since the registration of the case, by October 25 and posted the matter to November 6 for further hearing.
In December last year, the Income Tax department had unearthed Rs 99 crore in demonetised bank notes and another Rs 34 crore in the new currencies, besides a 127-kg gold bar, from properties owned by Reddy and his associates. Subsequently, Reddy and his associates — K Srinivaslu and Premkumar — were arrested, following an FIR against them under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) and relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
They were also booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act by the ED. The court had, on May 12, granted conditional bail to the three accused since no chargesheet was filed against them within the mandatory 90 days.