OMC case: Janardhan Reddy granted conditional bail
Hyderabad: Mining baron and former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, an accused in the illegal mining case involving his Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), was on Friday granted conditional bail by a CBI court here.
The court issued the bail order on execution of bond of Rs 5 lakh and two securities of the like amount.
It directed Reddy, who was arrested in September last year, to surrender his passport and not to interfere in the investigation into the other illegal mining cases or influence witnesses.
"The petitioner (Gali) shall remain in Bellary (Karnataka) and is permitted to attend other cases in Bangalore," the judge ordered.
The judge dismissed the plea by the CBI to suspend the implementation of bail order as it wanted to file a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court against it.
Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law BV Srinivsas Reddy, Managing director of the mining company, were arrested on September 5 from Bellary and brought to Hyderabad. The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Janardhan Reddy and others on December 3 in OMC case and took him to Bangalore in connection with another illegal mining case in Karnataka.
OMC is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and indulging in illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest areas, spread between Bellary district of Karnataka and Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
They have been charged under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and Section 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of IPC and relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Reddy is currently lodged in Bangalore central prison in
connection with another mining case allegedly involving Associated Mining Corporation (AMC) and Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS) owned by him and his wife Arunalakshi.
His counsel while seeking bail had argued that the entire investigation into the OMC case was over and his client's further detention was not required while prosecution had expressed apprehension that Gali might influence witnesses and tamper with evidence.
Reddy's bail pleas were earlier dismissed at least on four occasions by the CBI court.
Janardhan Reddy's brother and Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) president G Somashekhara Reddy, who is an MLA from Bellary, was present in the court hall when the bail orders were given.
Meanwhile, the court dismissed the bail plea of suspended IAS officer Yerra Srilakshmi, another accused in the OMC case today.
The 1988-batch officer, who was Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare when she was arrested on November 28 last year by the CBI, has been accused of abusing her official position as the secretary (Industries and Commerce) to favour OMC in allotment of mining leases.
She is in judicial custody in Chanchalguda Prison here.
While opposing her bail plea, the CBI had told the court that it was investigating properties belonging to her that were reportedly held in the name of her brother-in-law.
The CBI is probing the "link" between mining activities in Bellary (of Karnataka) and Anantapur district allegedly involving the Reddys after a directive to the central agency from Supreme Court.
The central agency, probing allegations of illegal mining and irregularities committed in allotment of mining leases to OMCin Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, filed the chargesheet against OMCPL, Janardhan Reddy, his brother-in-law and the firm's Managing Director BV Srinivas Reddy, former Mining and Geology Department (Andhra Pradesh) Director VD Rajagopal and the then Assistant Director of Mines and Geology Department late R Linga Reddy in December last year.
In its supplementary chargesheet filed in March this year, the CBI had named Srilakshmi as a co-conspirator in the OMC case and charged her with criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and causing wrongful gain (to OMC) under the Indian Penal Code, as well as with offences under Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI, probing the "illegal" mining case involving OMC, in its chargesheet had earlier charged that OMC earned over Rs 4,300 crore from illegally selling iron ore, through local sales and exports during the 2007-10 period.
It had further alleged that illegal mining by OMC had resulted in a loss of Rs 5,100 crore to the state exchequer.
The chargesheet says Reddys entered into a criminal conspiracy with public servants including late Linga Reddy, Rajagopal, Srilakshmi and ensured that the mining leases for area of 68.5 hectares and 39.5 hectare were granted to OMC.
The CBI had earlier alleged that mining and extraction of 29.30 lakh tonnes of iron ore was done in several areas (in Karnataka) other than the leased area of 68.5 hectares held by OMC. Besides, they were accused of creating forged documents with conspiracy with public servants and secured evidence from transporters to show that iron ore extracted in Bellary was shown as product of OMC in Andhra Pradesh.