Opinion

CBI officer with a difference

M. Somasekhar | Updated on September 28, 2011

V. V. Lakshminarayana   -  THE HINDU



With 2G, CWG, Satyam, illegal mining, the growing list of scandals are taking a toll on both corporate India as well as the political class. Several politicians and corporate honchos are cooling their heels in jails.

The question uppermost among most people, especially since Anna Hazare pushed anti-corruption centrestage is if the corrupt will be punished in time. In most of these cases, high-profile individuals are involved. There are allegations galore and a battery of investigating agencies has been unleashed by the Government, some at the behest of the Courts to fish out evidence and establish charges.

PROFILE

Finding himself at the centre of three of the biggest scandals is Mr V. V. Lakshminarayana, an officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Operating out of Hyderabad, the IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre is in the thick of action in the huge Satyam fraud perpetrated by Mr B. Ramalinga Raju, the disproportionate assets case of Mr Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy and the illegal mining scandal by mining baron, Mr Gali Janardhana Reddy.

All eyes are on this soft-spoken, tough cop, who is leading these challenging assignments. Will this IAS topper of the 1990 batch, who selected Police Service by choice, deliver and help prove that these three influential gentleman, and perhaps several in the shadows, are guilty or otherwise?

Mr Lakshminaryana, into his mid-forties, has been a topper from his school days. He is known for his commitment to put in his sincere best at work. In a way, it's a strange coincidence that he has landed himself in an unenviable position in the last two years. After a sedate stint between 2006-2009, Lakshminarayana got catapulted into fame with the Rs 7,136 crore Satyam fraud. His thorough handling of the case that stunned not just corporate India, but the IT realm, helped unearth tons of documents and many clues that put the once invincible Mr Raju behind bars, unable to get bail.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Even before the Satyam saga ended, the CBI joint director was entrusted with investigating the disproportionate assets case of Y. S. Jaganmohan (MP of Kadapa and son of former Cong (I) strongman and AP CM, Dr Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy) under directions from the High Court. Without bowing to pressure, he and his team have questioned more than 50 corporates, and rich and powerful individuals in just a little more than a month.

But the pre-dawn arrest of the seemingly invincible mining baron, Mr Gali Janardhana Reddy at his Bellary residence in early September, undoubtedly brought out the meticulous planning ability of the team led by Mr Lakshminarayana. Most reports have indicated in recent times that the CBI had just managed to outsmart the Gali brothers.

With the illegal mining scandal spreading in both AP and Karnataka, the ramifications of the investigation into Gali Janardhana Reddy's empire, which is already throwing up exciting leads, in the political, corporate and bureaucratic circles is anyone's guess.

Mr Lakshminaryana comes across as a low-key person, warm to friendships and likes meeting old friends. But, when it comes to work, he never divulges official information. The media has experienced this facet in any number of encounters, be it at the Nampally Courts or the special CBI court constituted to try the cases.

Given his dedication to work and expertise in legal issues, especially documentation and preparing the case, a lot is expected from this officer as the three cases gather momentum in the near future.

Published on September 28, 2011

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