No bail yet for Reddys in illegal mining case

A special CBI court in Hyderabad today rejected the bail pleas of iron-ore mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy.

This is the third time that the court is denying them bail since their arrest for alleged illegal mining and export of iron ore through the family-owned Obulapuram Mining Co (OMC).

Janardhana Reddy and OMC managing director Srinivas Reddy had moved bail applications on 8 November in the special court for the third time after their arrest on 5 September, on the grounds that most of the investigation into the case was over and they had been in remand for over two months and would not influence witnesses.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of leases to OMC, had arrested the Reddys from Bellary in Karnataka and the duo are presently in judicial custody till 28 November, lodged at the Chanchalguda Central Prison in the city.

The central agency had opposed the fresh bail petitions of the Reddys expressing apprehensions that they might tamper with evidence if they are released. The agency had also informed the court that investigation of the case was at a crucial stage and the accused could influence witnesses.

Referring to the ground cited by Reddys that they were entitled to bail because the maximum of 60 days for filing charge-sheets had lapsed since their arrest, the CBI informed the court that Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code (criminal breach of trust) was added in the first information report subsequently, which gave the agency the liberty to fulfil the task in 90 days.

The court had earlier rejected their bail pleas on 13 September and had handed them over to CBI custody for interrogation till 19 September.

On 30 September, the court while again dismissing the bail petitions of Reddys had also dismissed the agency's petition which sought custody of both the accused for nine more days.