SC allows mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy to visit Bellary

The Supreme Court on Thursday waived the bail condition which prohibited the former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy to enter the Bellary, Anantapur and Kapada district.

The bench led by Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari modified the bail condition imposed by the Karnataka High Court in 2015 and allowed Mining Baron to visit his native place Bellary with the condition that he will give the intimation of the same to the Superintendent of Police, Bellary.

The Apex Court also requested the Trail Court to expedite the trail proceeding which has not been commenced from 11 years.

The plea was filed by former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, which sought relaxation of his bail condition and allow him to stay in his native Bellary district. In the earlier proceedings, The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that the mining baron was at the centre of “one of the most notorious mining scams” of the country and his return to Bellary would spell disaster for the trial. The Bench heard senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who was appearing on behalf of Gali Janardhan Reddy, he counter the CBI, saying the blame for the agency’s inefficiency to complete a trial within time could not be put on him.“The trial may take a lifetime the way it’s going. You (CBI) cannot blame me. Am I guilty for the six-year delay in the trial? Am I to suffer externment from Bellary forever?” Mr. Rohatgi asked.

Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, for the CBI, said Reddy was given bail in the case in 2015 on the express condition that he would not enter Bellary. “Doing away with this condition would mean doing away with all conditions of the bail,” Divan argued.Divan said Reddy was a “powerful man”. There were threats on the lives and property of the witnesses, many of whom live in Bellary and some of whom are public servants. She said Reddy’s presence in Bellary would turn them hostile. “With great difficulty, we have been able to persuade them to testify. His (Reddy’s) presence in Bellary permanently may have an adverse effect on them,” Ms. Divan said. The law officer said the delay in trial was entirely due to the accused persons “crowding the docket” of the trial court by filing petitions, one after the other, “like a relay race”, to discharge and quash the case against them for one reason or the other.

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