In another setback for former BJP minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, he was chargesheeted by the Special Investigation Team probing illegal mining and transportation of iron ore in Ballari.
This illegal mining case at the special Lokayukta court pertains to illegal acquisition of a mining lease of one N Shaikh Sab between 2009-10 in Hospet taluk and also extracting, transporting and selling of iron without valid permission. Reddy’s co-accused include Mehfuz Ali Khan and BV Srinivas Reddy.
The charges under which Reddy and other co-accused will be tried include sections 379 (punishment of theft), 420 (cheating) , 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and rule 165 of the Karnataka Forest Rules.
According to the SIT, Ali Khan and another accused Srinivasa Reddy would force mining lease owners like Shaikh Sab into a partnership and then take over the business by means of a power of attorney. In this particular case, the duo is alleged to have extracted iron ore in far quantities excessive than what the mining norms allow, and sold them to many exporters. These violations caused a loss of Rs 23.89 lakh to the state exchequer, SIT officials claim.
Srinivas Reddy is a partner in Janardhana Reddy’s Obalapuram Mining Company, which in turn operates two shell companies - Sri Minerals and Basaveshwara Minerals.
The SIT was formed in 2011 after the then Lokayukta and former Supreme Court judge Justice Santosh Hegde submitted a report on the illegal mining in Ballari.
This development comes after an SIT headed by IGP M Chandrasekhar arrested BV Srinivasa Reddy in October. Earlier, the SIT had told TNM that Srinivasa Reddy on behalf of Janardhana Reddy had coerced Sheik Sab to divest 75% of the shares in his private mining company and that he had illegally extracted over 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of iron ore between July and December 2009.
Reddy is currently out in bail after he was arrested by the Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru for his alleged involvement in the Ambident ponzi scheme. He had got bail after an affidavit was filed by the same Ali Khan stating Reddy is not involved in the ponzi scheme. But according to CCB sleuths, Ali Khan had acted as the middleman in the transaction between Reddy and Ambident. Reddy was booked under sections 204 (destruction of evidence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, and multiple sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Prior to this, he had previously courted arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2011 and spent at least three years in jail in the illegal mining scam case. He is also banned by the Supreme Court from entering his home district Ballari.