The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Special Court here on Friday that former Director of Mines and Geology V.D. Rajagopal had misused his official position to intentionally benefit Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.

Its counsel, B. Ravindranath, said that the former official had not only turned a blind eye to violations of mining laws by OMC but also allowed it to exploit iron ore in un-allotted areas. The CBI had gathered ample evidence on both these counts, he said.

The counsel contended that the income of the Mines Department could have been more than Rs.5,000 crore had Rajagopal been objective in the discharge of his duties. His brother-in-law, B. Rajasekhar, was on the board of OMC and served as a mediator between him (Rajagopal) and Janardhan Reddy.

The CBI counsel stopped short of informing the court about the ill-gotten wealth of Rajagopal by stating that he had revealed all information about his assets. He said this in response to the argument of Rajagopal's counsel, Mr. K. Ravinder Reddy, who sought bail contending that the investigation was nearing completion, Rajagopal's old-aged mother needed his care, his health status was bad and that he was instrumental in improving the income of the Mines Department from Rs.50 crore to over Rs.500 crore per annum.

Opposing the bail, the CBI counsel said that Rajagopal could influence witnesses when the investigation was in an advanced stage of completion as he still enjoyed good clout in the official circles. The CBI further said that Rajagopal had disclosed the names of some officials who were connected with the case but failed to give their addresses or their contact numbers. Therefore, it had become very difficult for the investigating agency to know their whereabouts as the CBI handles the accused softly.

The judge reserved order both on his bail plea and the request for special class cell in Chanchalguda jail for November 29.