“BS-IV scam”: ED attaches assets of former TDP MLA Ashok Leyland is being investigated
It has seized assets worth more than Rs 22 crore from former Andhra Pradesh TDP MLA J C Prabhakar Reddy, his associates and companies linked to them in connection with an alleged fraud involving BS-IV vehicles.
The federal agency stated that it was also investigating Ashok Leyland, a major automobile manufacturer with its headquarters in Chennai.
Currently, Reddy serves as the chairman of the Tadipatri municipal council in the Anantapur district. A former member of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), he represented the Tadipatri seat.
The case arises from a March 2017 ruling of the Supreme Court, which directed that vehicles that do not comply with BS-IV emission standards shall not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer from April 1, 2017. As of the same date, the Enforcement Directorate also prohibited the registration of these vehicles.
In violation of the apex court’s order, Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd (JIPL), “controlled” by Reddy, C Gopal Reddy (alleged to be closely associated with Reddy and a civil contractor from Tadipatri) and others purchased BS-III vehicles from Ashok Leyland Ltd at a discount and “fraudulently” registered them as BS-IV vehicles by fabricating invoice copies, according to the agency.
According to a report, some of the registrations took place in Nagaland, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
In order to establish the crime, the ED has gathered evidence in the form of fabricated invoices from Nagaland’s RTO authorities and Ashok Leyland’s original invoices issued as scrap for a number of vehicles.
As a result of the ownership, use, and/or sale of these vehicles, the crime proceeds generated have been quantified as Rs 38.36 crore.
As a result, 68 immovable properties valued at Rs 15.79 crore belonging to J C Prabhakar Reddy, his family members, companies controlled by him such as Diwakar Road Lines and Jatadhara Industries Pvt Ltd, as well as movable properties worth Rs 6.31 crore have been attached after the agency issued a provisional order in accordance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In total, the attached properties are valued at Rs 22.10 crore.
Further investigation is ongoing, including the involvement of Ashok Leyland in the entire scam, according to the ED.