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Margadarsi case: Ramoji lobbying through Amit Shah?

Margadarsi case: Ramoji lobbying through Amit Shah?

With the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh police tightening its noose around Eenadu group chairman Ch Ramoji Rao in connection with alleged irregularities in the Margadarsi Chit Funds case, the media baron is said to be seeking help from the Centre.

The issue has taken a serious turn with the CID authorities writing to the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department to step in and take up the probe into the siphoning of funds and diversion of deposits collected by Margadarsi Chit Funds.

According to highly placed sources, Ramoji Rao has started extensive lobbying with the Centre, using his connections with Union home minister Amit Shah to rein in Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy so that the latter could go slow with the CID investigation.

The issue of the Margadarsi case is expected to come up for discussion when the Chief Minister meets Union Home Minister Amit Shah later in the evening on Wednesday. Shah may ask Jagan to stop the witch-hunt of Ramoji Rao to settle political scores, keeping in view his age and the reputation he enjoys in society.

Ramoji Rao has been enjoying good relations with the Bharatiya Janata Party bosses at the Centre. Such is the clout he enjoys with the Centre that Shah made a lightning visit all the way to Ramoji Film City to meet the veteran media baron.

In 2016, the Narendra Modi government honored him with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country.

It may be mentioned that the Andhra CID issued notices to Ramoji Rao on Monday for questioning in connection with the alleged irregularities in Margadarsi Chit Funds, of which he is the chairman.

In the notice issued under Section 160 Criminal Procedure Code, the CID said Ramoji Rao had to be questioned as a witness in the Margadarsi case, as it is just and necessary in view of the facts of the case.

The investigating agency has to question him for effective investigation and to arrive at a better conclusion in the case.

“Hence, you are hereby requested to make yourself available at your place of residence or office on March 29, 31, April 3 or 6, and cooperate for the investigation,” the CID official said in the notice.

On March 11, the CID registered criminal cases against Ramoji Rao and Sailaja Kiran in connection with the alleged irregularities in Margadarsi Chit Funds.

The CID registered FIRs under Sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), and 477(A) read with 34 (falsification of accounts) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 5 of Andhra Pradesh Protection of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, 1999, and Sections 76 and 79 of Chit Funds Act, 1982. The FIR named Ramoji Rao as the prime accused (A-1) and Sailaja as A-2.


Tags: Ramoji Rao Amit Shah Margadarshi