The Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail petition filed by mining baron and former minister G Janardhana Reddy in connection with the illegal mining case involving Associated Mining Company in which he is the main accused.
Justice H N Nagamohan Das dismissed the bail petition on the grounds that the accused if granted bail may interfere with the ongoing investigation by the CBI.
During the hearing of the petition on November 21, senior counsel representing CBI, Ashok Bhan had submitted that the petitioner was “interfering in the day to day administration of justice and was also threatening some witnesses”.
Senior counsel for Reddy, C V Nagesh contended that so far as the documents filed by the CBI on Tuesday are concerned there is no allegation against the respondent and what has been pointed out is only “anticipation of threat”.
“There is no actual threat but they are only anticipating that the respondent might threaten the witnesses”, he said.
Mr. Nagesh submitted that further investigation that is pending is only against the then Deputy Conservator of Forest, Bellary district, S Muthaiah and then Director Mines and Geology S P Raju in connection with the alleged theft of iron ore in Belekeri port and not in this matter.
After completion of arguments, the court had reserved its verdict on the bail petition on November 21.
Reddy had approached the High Court after his bail plea was rejected by the CBI court in September.
Bail petitions of his close aide Mehfuz Ali Khan, Muthaiah, and Raju, the other accused in the case, have already been rejected by the High Court.
Janardhana Reddy and Mehfuz Ali Khan are at present lodged in Chanchalaguda jail in Hyderabad.
ED attaches Rs 884 crore of shares and assets
Shares and assets worth Rs 884 crore have been attached under Prevention of Money Laundering Act in Obulapuram Mining Company case involving former Karnataka Minister G Janardhana Reddy, the Enforcement Directorate said on Wednesday.
“Investigations revealed that OMC has illegally mined iron ore valued at Rs 884.13 crore during 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10,” an ED statement said.
The amount constitutes proceeds of crime for purposes of the PMLA and it is seen that the investments in Brahmani Industries Limited by OMC includes the amount identified as proceeds of this crime, the ED said.
As a result of investigations, the proceeds of crime amounting to Rs 884.13 crore in the form of 88,41,30,000 shares of BIL, having face value of Rs 10 each, held by OMC, have been provisionally attached under provisions of PMLA, it said.
BIL and its Directors have been directed not to dispose of, transfer, sell, move, lease out or deal with in any similar manner of the plant, machinery, land, equipment, appliances of BIL and not to alter its equity structure.
ED’s Bangalore Zonal Unit is investigating the case under the 2002 Act against OMC, Bellary, Reddy and others.
The proceedings under PMLA were initiated by ED pursuant to an FIR registered by CBI, Anti-Corruption Branch, Hyderabad for offences alleged to have been committed under certain sections of the IPC, Indian Forest Act, 1927, Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Subsequently, CBI filed a charge-sheet in December 2011 before the Special Judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad, in which the accused including OMC were charged for offences under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.
“Further investigations are under progress,” the ED added.