Bellary mining baron and former Minister G. Janardhan Reddy, prime accused in the illegal mining case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, was remanded in judicial custody by the CBI court till March 24 along with his alleged associate Mehfuz Ali Khan.

Reddy and Khan (accused number 22) have been in the custody of the CBI in Bangalore since March 2.

They will be lodged at the Parrapana Agrahara Central Prison.

The lawyers representing the accused submitted bail applications before the CBI court which was held behind closed doors under tight security.

CBI Special Public Prosecutor Soundar Rajan filed objections to the bail petitions on the grounds that the investigation is yet to be completed, and if released, the accused could intimidate witnesses and tamper with the evidence.

Arguments in the bail petitions will be heard on March 24.

Meanwhile, a petition filed by the lawyers representing Khan is pending before the Registrar General of the High Court.

The petition seeks to have an open court hearing in the case. Khan's counsel Shyam Sundar has made out a case that if the court is convened behind closed doors, it would work unfairly against the accused.

Only lawyers representing the accused and the CBI are being allowed inside the court hall.

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