New Delhi: The ED said Wednesday it has attached assets worth more than Rs 22 crore of former Andhra Pradesh TDP MLA J C Prabhakar Reddy, his associates and companies linked to them in a case related to an alleged BS-IV vehicles scam.
In a statement, the federal agency said it was also probing the role of major automobile manufacturer Ashok Leyland, headquartered in Chennai, in the case.
Reddy is currently the chairman of Tadipatri Municipality in Anantapur district of the state. He had earlier represented Tadipatri in the Assembly as an MLA of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
An spokesperson for Ashok Leyland said the investigation was not against the company but “third-party scarp customer”.
“This matter reported seems to be pertaining to an old investigation from the year 2020-2021.”
“We have submitted all documents and details as required by the Enforcement Directorate pertaining to this matter, which clearly establishes that we are not implicated in any manner. Ashok Leyland is compliant with all emission requirements,” the spokesperson said.
The case emerges from a March 2017 ruling of the Supreme Court where it ordered that vehicles not compliant with BS-IV emission norms should not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer from April 1, 2017. The registration of such vehicles was also prohibited from the same date, the Enforcement Directorate said.
However, Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd (JIPL), “controlled” by Reddy, C Gopal Reddy (alleged to be a close associate of Reddy and civil contractor from Tadipatri) and others, in “contravention” to the apex court’s order, purchased BS-III vehicles from Ashok Leyland Ltd at discount and “fraudulently” registered the same as BS-IV vehicles by fabricating invoice copies, the agency alleged.
A probe found that some of the registrations were done in Nagaland, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, it said.
“ED has gathered evidences in the form of fabricated invoices from RTO authorities in Nagaland and original invoices issued by Ashok Leyland as scrap for the some vehicles and established the crime.
“The crime proceeds generated by owning/plying and/or selling these vehicles have been quantified as Rs 38.36 crore,” it said.
Hence, movable properties worth Rs 6.31 crore, consisting of bank balances, cash, jewellery and receivables, as well as 68 immovable properties valued at Rs 15.79 crore belonging to J C Prabhakar Reddy, his family members, companies controlled by him like Diwakar Road Lines and Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd, and C Gopal Reddy and his family members have been attached after a provisional order was issued by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The total value of the attached properties is Rs 22.10 crore.
“Further investigation is in progress, including the role of Ashok Leyland in the entire scam,” the ED said.