J Shekhar reddy is a mining baron who takes contracts for sand mining in Tamil Nadu and runs various business establishments. He was arrested in December last year after the seizure of Rs 134.5 crore (Rs 1.345 billion) in cash and 177 kilo in gold bars from his possession by income tax officials in Tamil Nadu. The entire thing came to light when the demonetisation took place on November 8 in 2016. Reddy has been also been accused of converting the old money to new currency.
It was also alleged by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) that Shekhar Reddy accessed a benami for O Pannerselvam and almost all the top Tamil Nadu ministers. The IT department is investigating the case but they could not establish the fact from where he got access to the new currency. During the earlier raids, the IT officials had found papers which clearly show the nexus between Shekhar Reddy and other Tamil Nadu ministers. The documents have few other names including Sasikala’s brother Mannargudi Mahadevan, who passed away earlier this year, O Panneerselvam and his PA Ramesh.
During Reddy’s arrest in December last year, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his photos at the Tirumala Temple emerged, bringing a huge embarrassment to the E Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu. However, team OPS later clarified that the sand mining baron had received him at the temple as he was a board member there.