M A I N   N E W S

Mining magnate Reddy in CBI net
Karnataka’s ex-minister, brother-in-law held in Bellary
Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

all in a day

n Rs 4.5 crore cash, over 30 kg of gold seized from their houses
n Several incriminating documents also seized
n The duo was taken to Hyderabad and produced in a CBI court
n Janardhana’s wife also questioned

Bangalore, September 5
The long arm of the law finally caught up with mining czars the Reddys of Karnataka. Janardhana Reddy, former Karnataka minister and director of Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC) and BV Srinivas Reddy, managing director, were today arrested by the CBI in Bellary in connection with cases related to illegal mining slapped against them in Andhra Pradesh.

A CBI team from Hyderabad also conducted searches at house of Janardhana Reddy and claimed to have seized Rs 3 crore in cash and over 30 kg of gold.

A sum of Rs 1.5 crore was seized from the residence of Reddy’s brother-in-law Srinivasa Reddy, who is also the MD of the company owned by the Reddy family.

The CBI claimed that “several incriminating documents” were also seized from the two premises.

“Janardhana Reddy and Srinivasa Reddy have been arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act and we are taking them to Hyderabad,” CBI DIG PV Lakshminarayana, who is heading the team, told reporters in Bellary.

Even as the CBI team escorted the Reddys to Hyderabad to produce them before a CBI court, the agency continued searches at Janardhana Reddy’s residence in Bellary and Bangalore. A team questioned Aruna Lakshmi, wife of Janardhana Reddy in Bellary and another conducted searches at his residence in Bangalore.

The CBI had registered various cases against the company on December 7, 2009, at the request of the Andhra Pradesh Government in the wake of allegations of illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of mining leases to OMC in Obulapuram and Malpanagudi villages of Anantapur district.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had granted interim stay on the probe on December 14, 2009. The stay was vacated in December 2010 after which the agency started its probe.

“After vacation of the stay, CBI Hyderabad started the investigation of the case and till now, around 1,530 documents, 112 iron ore samples had been collected and around 85 witnesses and suspects have been examined,” a press release issued by the CBI said.

About 65 mining companies, including OMC, are under the CBI scanner. OMC has been accused of transporting ore in far excess of actual production, irregularities in granting of leases, encroaching upon mining areas belonging to Karnataka by crossing inter-state boundaries.

The High Court, however, has asked the CBI to limit itself to the illegal mining activity of OMC and not to probe the boundary dispute which is being looked into by a committee set up by the Supreme Court.

Reddy, an MLC, who was Tourism and Infrastructure Development Minister in the previous BJP government headed by BS Yeddyurappa, was among those indicted by former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde in his report on illegal mining submitted to the state government on July 27.

Janardhana Reddy’s brother Karunakara, MLA, was Revenue Minister in the Yeddyurappa-led Cabinet in Karnataka. Yeddyurappa’s successor DV Sadananda Gowda refrained from inducting either of the two Reddys in the Cabinet in view of their indictment by the Lokayukta. Their brother Somashekhar Reddy, MLA, whose name also figured in the Lokayukta’s report, however, continues to remain Chairman of Karnataka Milk Federation, a post which carries the Cabinet rank.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |