Audio Clip Between Shekar Reddy and Ram Mohana Rao helped IT nail Tamil Nadu Principal Secretary

As they were scouring through his vast bungalow for incriminating documents and unaccounted cash, I-T sleuths on Wednesday confronted former Chief Secretary P. Rama Mohana Rao with an audio recording of his conversation with his “friend” J. Sekhar Reddy on December 6, the day late J. Jayalalithaa was cremated. The telephonic conversation Mr Rao had with Mr Reddy asking him to safe keep the cash seems to have led the I-T investigators straight to his doorstep.

Deccan Chronicle had on Thursday morning reported that innocuous phone call gave the vital clue to investigators about the link between the two. Income tax sleuths had kept Sekhar Reddy’s phone under watch.  Sources in the I-T department told this newspaper that they confronted Rao with the audio recording during the raids at his residence in posh Anna Nagar in the city.  “The two, while in conversation, were using more code words. As of now we could not decode it. And Rama Mohana Rao was not ready to disclose much,” sources said.

3 of his business associates arrested:

Following the arrest of PWD sand contractor J. Sekhar Reddy and his associate Srinivasalu on Wednesday after seizure of gold and cash Rs 131 crore cash including Rs 34 crore worth new notes by income tax department, the CBI arrested three more people, believed to be his business associates on Thursday. The arrested were identified as Rathinam of Vellore, Ramachandran of Pudukottai and Prem Kumar of Chennai. The three are believed to have helped Reddy to change old notes worth Rs 34 crore to new notes. All were booked under sections of criminal conspiracy, cheating and the prevention of corruption Act.

Rathinam and Ramachandran are partners in Reddy’s sand mining company while Prem Kumar handled the accounts of the company, sources said. All the three were produced in CBI court in Madras high court complex and were remanded to judicial custody till January 4.