More trouble seems to be in offing for Karnataka's Reddy brothers. The SC on Friday expanded the scope of the CBI's investigation into the alleged illegal mining activities by Reddy brothers and directed the investigating agency to probe the link between mining activities in Karnataka's Bellary district and the Ananthpur area of Andhra Pradesh.
One of the three Reddy brothers, G Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy, Obulapuram Mining Corporation's manging director are already facing criminal charges for allegedly carrying out illegal mining activities in the Ananthpur district. CBI had arrested the duo on September 5.
Asking the CBI to submit a status report on its investigation against Reddy brothers' OMC, a special forest bench headed by Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia also ordered e-auction of iron ore extracted so far in the Bellary region.
Reacting to the SC order, Karnataka's chief minister DB Sadananda Gowda said he would abide by the court decision. The CM had earlier rejected demands for a CBI probe citing the Lokayukta investigation into the illegal mining in the state.
The bench observed: "Prima facie we are satisfied that illegal mining is going on in Bellary (Karnataka) and Ananthpur in Andhra Pradesh. We also prima facie found evidence mentioned in the report (CEC)."
The apex court further said: "It is for this reason we are issuing notice to the CBI. We want CBI to investigate this aspect of linkage. We direct CBI to investigate the linkage of these companies and to submit a status report." It also said that it will ask the CBI to ascertain the losses caused to exchequer on account of such illegal mining.