- 600 acres transferred to 2 firms, land belonged to government
- 2 firms were given land at below-market rates: police
- Government official arrested along with directors of the 2 firms
693 acres of government land in Cyberabad, the area that is home to top software companies, were illegally transferred to private companies over the last 5-6 years in exchange for large bribes, said investigators.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has reviewed the details of the case as well as the processes used to register land transactions and has ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to handle the investigation.
The police arrested the directors of two companies - PVS Sharma of Suvishal Power Gen Ltd and PS Parthasarathi, director of Trinity Infraventures Ltd, on Sunday.
The government official, R Srinivasa Rao, is accused of colluding to transfer land that had been designated as belonging to the government to the two firms at rates that meant the government lost 587 crore rupees. The arrested executives claim, however, that they acquired the land through a group of people who claimed to own it.
"We raided the so-called companies. What is amazing is that Goldstone, Trinity as well as Suvishal through whose hands the lands have passed, are all suitcase companies, operating from the same premises. There is no board meeting or even notings to show how they approved or bought the land. Many legal requirements have been bypassed,'' Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya told NDTV.
A senior official told NDTV that the accused forged documents and employed top lawyers to claim in court that their purchase was legitimate.
"It becomes impossible to defend government lands when they have a complicated web of connections, from the police to revenue officials and also those in the government and politicians,'' he said.
Mr Rao, the arrested official who allegedly received kickbacks, is said to have spent some of the money on international tours. "This year, he visited Australia. We are verifying where he went to blow up the money," said a senior official. Sources said the government official also appears to own vast real estate assets as part of wealth that cannot be explained with his income.