Reddy returns to Bangalore after six months, as an accused

Bangalore/Hyderabad, March 1 (IANS) Gali Janardhana Reddy, the struggling businessman-turned-mining baron who once dictated terms to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Karnataka, comes to Bangalore early Friday for the first time in six months, as an accused in illegal mining.

Reddy, a former BJP minister in Karnataka, is being brought by road from Chanchalaguda Central Jail in Hyderabad, about 600 km away, by the Central Bureau of Investigation team to present him in a court in Bangalore in connection with an illegal mining case.

Reddy has been in the Hyderabad jail since Sep 5 as he is facing an illegal mining case in Andhra Pradesh also.

His plea to fly him in a chopper was turned down by the jail authorities. Reddy had offered to bear the expenses for the flight, saying he feared for his life if taken by road.

The CBI sought his presence in the Bangalore court after registering its first case in Karnataka against Reddy, his wife Lakshmi Aruna and several others over illegal mining by his Associated Mining Company based in Bellary, about 300 km north of Bangalore.

Reddy also owns the Obulapuram Mining Company based in Andhra Pradesh.

Though the Reddys hail from Andhra Pradesh, where their father was a police constable, they made Bellary their home and are accused of large-scale illegal mining and export in both the states.

Earlier Thursday, the special court dealing with CBI cases in Hyderabad left it to the jail authorities to decide, in accordance with the rules and the jail manual, on Reddy’s plea to fly him to Bangalore.

After day-long suspense on the mode of transport, the jail authorities decided to shift him to Bangalore in a motor vehicle.

Reddy was brought out of jail Thursday evening and escorted to a mini bus which left for Bangalore along with police escort vehicles amid tight security. Two sub-inspectors of police and eight policemen are escorting him.

Meanwhile, the special court also adjourned the hearing on his petition seeking directions to the CBI to return his chopper. The federal agency had seized his chopper and cars after his arrest.

CBI arrested Reddy from Bellary Sep 5 to try him for illegal mining by the Obulapuram Mining Company in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The case was registered in 2009 when Reddy was still a minister in Karnataka’s first BJP government headed by B. S. Yeddyurappa.

He lost the ministerial post after Yeddyurappa quit July last year over corruption charges. Reddy is a member of the Karnataka legislative council.

His two brothers, Gali Karunakara and Gali Somashekara, are members of the Karnataka assembly. Karunakara was also a minister in the Yeddyurappa cabinet.

Along with Janardhana Reddy, the CBI had also arrested his brother-in-law and OMC managing director B.V.Srinivasa Reddy. He would remain in Chanchalguda jail as the Bangalore court has not sought his presence.