Karnataka ex-minister gets bail in mining case

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Bengaluru
  • Updated: Jan 20, 2015 23:57 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, an accused in the illegal mining case involving his Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).

A bench headed by chief justice HL Dattu granted bail, taking into consideration CBI’s submission that the probe was complete and the charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet had been filed.

“Since the investigating agency has no objection, we are granting bail,” the bench said. It also noted the submission of additional solicitor general Maninder Singh and Reddy’s counsel Dushyant Dave that Reddy had been in jail for around four years.

Reddy had moved the apex court in 2013, challenging the high court’s decision to reject his bail petition.

He is facing several criminal cases and was lodged in an Andhra Pradesh jail since September 2011.

Reddy and his brother-in-law BV Srinivas Reddy, managing director of OMC, were arrested by CBI from Bellary in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad.

In the OMC case, the company is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings and indulging in illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest area.

Welcoming the news, BJP Karnataka president Prahlad Joshi said, “The news brings us immense happiness. I am not aware of Reddy’s current membership status and if it has expired. But these are only technical matters. It is for him to decide his future in the party.”

However, Tapal Ganesh, a prime witness in the Karnataka cases, said, “I have been provided with one gunman for protection but that may not be enough now. Reddy is extremely powerful and I’m scared.”

Former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, whose path breaking investigation eventually led to the downfall of the Reddys, said, “I am not surprised by the BJP’s enthusiasm. If Yeddyurappa can be brought back, why not Reddy?”

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