CBI takes mining baron Reddys into custody

CBI takes mining baron Reddys into custody

Hyderabad: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court on Tuesday denied bail to mining baron and former Karnataka minister G. Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B.V. Srinivas Reddy, arrested for alleged mining irregularities in Andhra Pradesh.

Judge Naga Maruthi Sharma granted the CBI’s request to interrogate the two men, who will be in the agency’s custody until 10:30 a.m. on 19 September.

The CBI had sought 15 days’ custodial interrogation of Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy, who were arrested in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad on 5 September where they have since been lodged in the Chanchalguda central jail .

The special court had on Monday reserved its orders on CBI’s petition for custody of the Reddys and the suspects’ request for bail after hearing arguments from both sides.

Janardhan Reddy, a director of Obulapuram Mining Co. (OMC) based in the Karnaktaka district of Bellary, and Srinivas Reddy, managing director of the firm, will be handed over to the investigating agency later in the day.

A CBI official, who didn’t want to be named, said the agency would seek extended custody of the two suspects, who were arrested after raids on their premises in Karnataka led to the seizure of cash, gold and unspecified documents.

On Monday, CBI counsel told the special court that custodial questioning of the two Reddys was necessary to find out which public officials had connived with them to illegally mine, transport and sell iron ore.

Witnesses are not coming forward to testify and Bellary residents are reluctant to proffer evidence, additional solicitor general Vivek Tankha said, citing a climate of intimidation in the area. The agency is carrying out its investigation in difficult and trying conditions, he said.