New Delhi/Bangalore: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested mining czar and former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law and Managing Director of Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC) B Srinivasa Reddy.
The arrests came in connection with cases filed by CBI against the Reddy brothers for illegal mining in the forest area of Andhra Pradesh bordering Karnataka. OMC has been accused of transporting ore in far excess of actual production, irregularities in granting of leases, encroaching upon mining areas belonging to Karnataka by crossing the inter-State boundaries.
On a day of fast paced developments, the crackdown on the duo began in the wee hours of the morning in Bellary by a 15-member CBI team from Hyderabad. The CBI team led by its joint director VV Lakshminarayana were armed with an arrest warrant from the special court.
The CBI sleuths recovered 30 kg of gold and Rs 4.5 crore in cash from their residences. They were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for cheating and criminal trespass under different IPC sections and irregularities under the mining act.
The probe agency`s action came a day after Reddy`s associate and former Karnataka minister B Sreeramulu resigned from his assembly seat, protesting against the BJP`s denial to give him ministerial berth and also keeping Bellary Reddy brothers out of the ministry.
The duo were taken to Hyderabad and produced before a special CBI court, which remanded them to 14 days Judicial Custody.
They were later shifted to Chanchalguda Central Jail.
The court adjourned to September 7 the hearing on the CBI`s petition seeking custody of the accused for 15 days.
Janardhan Reddy, who was the Tourism and Infrastructure Development Minister in the previous BS Yeddyurappa government, was among those indicted by the Lokayukta report on illegal mining submitted to the government on July 27.
On Dec 7, 2009, the CBI had registered a case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Indian Forest Act, and the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, against the alleged illegal mining by OMC and others.
The CBI said it had so far collected around 1,530 documents and 112 iron ore samples and examined around 85 witnesses/suspects.