CBI opposes Reddys` plea to get chopper, cars released

The duo are presently under judicial remand since their arrest on September 5 from Bellary.

Hyderabad: The CBI, probing the "illegal"
mining case involving Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), on Wednesday
strongly opposed the release of a chopper and some cars owned
by former Karnataka Tourism minister Gali Janardhana Reddy and
OMC`s Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy.

The Reddys, who have been charge sheeted along with three
others in the OMC case last year, had last week approached the
special CBI court here seeking release of the helicopter and
some cars that were seized by the investigating agency.

The duo are presently under judicial remand since their
arrest on September 5 from Bellary.

In its counter, the CBI today alleged that the helicopter
and the cars that were bought in the name of OMC and Reddys
were purchased through "ill-gotten" money that was made in the
mining scam.

"The purchases were made through the amount amassed
through illegal mining. They were part of the proceeds of
crime and cannot be released till the disposal of the case,"
the CBI said in its counter, adding that it would soon file
attachment petitions with regard to the chopper and the cars.

It further said that it was verifying the purchase source
and brushed aside the contention of the Reddys who claimed
that the continuous disuse would spoil the helicopter and the
cars, saying the helicopter was kept in a shed in Bangalore
and was well maintained, while the cars were also in good
condition in Bellary.

"The question of spoiling doesn`t arise as the helicopter
and the cars are being well maintained," the CBI said and
apprehended that the accused may sell the chopper and cars to
a third party if they were returned which would make it
difficult for the agency to procure them before the trial.

The court posted the matter to February 22 for arguments.

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