Agency says it wants more time to investigate vital clues given by Gali’s personal assistant

Key witnesses in the illegal mining case involving former minister of Karnataka Gali Janardhan Reddy were being threatened by his supporters, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) argued in a special court while opposing his bail petition here on Thursday. As Mr. Reddy was an influential and powerful person, he could hamper the investigation in the case badly if he was enlarged on bail, counsel for CBI B. Ravindranath contended.

He cited the incident of burning a vehicle belonging to key witness C. Sashi Kumar (LW8) on November 20 in Kadapa district and quoting the FIR he alleged that it was burnt by Janardhan Reddy’s followers to threaten Mr. Kumar.

Provided security

Two other witnesses B. Anjaneya (LW2) and H. Mallikarjuna (LW4) were also threatened earlier and along with Mr. Kumar they had written to CBI seeking protection to their lives. They were provided security after CBI forwarded the letters to Superintendents of Police (SPs) concerned, the CBI counsel explained.

Further, Mr. Ravindranath insisted that CBI required more time to investigate vital clues given by Mehfuz Ali Khan, personal assistant of Janardhan Reddy, during his custodial examination. Investigation would not be completed until the Supreme Court disposed of a petition on the boundary dispute on mining licenses given to Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) and others as the extent of illegally mined iron ore could be quantified only after the boundary issue was settled.

Defence contention

Defence counsel B. Vijaysen Reddy contended that the CBI could not seek denial of bail to his client indefinitely without stating time-frame for completion of the investigation.

He appealed to the court not to consider the incidents occurred days before the hearing of bail petitions as they could be creation of miscreants to deny bail to his client.

Principal Special Judge U. Durga Prasada Rao reserved the orders for November 26 after conclusion of arguments by both sides.