Hyderabad: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court adjourned until Friday the hearing on a petition filed by the agency for nine more days’ custodial interrogation of mining baron and former Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B.V. Srinivas Reddy, both arrested in a case of illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.
Judge Naga Maruthi Sharma ordered the adjournment on Wednesday to give the defence time to file a counter to the CBI’s petition. Sharma asked CBI counsel P.P. Raju whether he wanted the agency’s petition to be heard in the absence of a counter petition by Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy.
The adjournment was ordered after Raju replied that the CBI was willing to give the defence time for a counter filing.
The two Reddys were sent to judicial custody on Monday after six days’ interrogation by the CBI, which has sought nine additional days to question the suspects.
Janardhan Reddy, a director of Obulapuram Mining Co. (OMC) based in the Karnataka district of Bellary, and Srinivas Reddy, managing director, were arrested in Karnataka on 5 September and brought to Hyderabad by the CBI.
The investigating agency has alleged that OMC won a mining lease in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in connivance with some state government officials. and that the mine was subsequently used to “legitimize” iron ore mined illegally in Karnataka.. The illegally mined ore was brought to Anantapur from where it was transported elsewhere and sold, it says. The Reddys have denied wrongdoing.
In Karnataka, the anti-corruption watchdog Lokayukta has in a report accused Janardhan Reddy, his brothers Somasekhar Reddy and Karunakara Reddy, former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party and more than 700 officials and politicians of involvement in illegal mining across Bellary district.
On Thursday, the CBI special court will hear a bail petition filed by Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy.