A city court on Friday declined to grant anticipatory bail to Karnataka mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, who has been accused of bribing an Enforcement Directorate official in a Ponzi scheme-related case. The state's Central Crime Branch (CCB) has launched a manhunt for him.
"Additional Sessions Court Judge Vidyadara Shirahatti said he cannot grant anticipatory bail to my client (Reddy) without hearing the prosecution side and adjourned the case to Monday (November 13)," Reddy's senior counsel C.H. Hanumantharaya told reporters.
Though the CCB summoned Reddy for interrogation in the Ponzi scam, in which he is accused of shielding its perpetrators from being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Hanumantharaya alleged that the CCB had wrongly framed his client in the case, as his (Reddy's) name was not in the FIR filed against Ambidant Marketing Ltd suspected to be behind the scam.
When the judge asked the counsel the urgency in seeking anticipatory bail as Reddy was legally bound to appear before the CCB in response to its summons, the counsel said the police were searching for Reddy and raided his residence in the city and Ballari on Wednesday and Thursday in connection with the scam.
In a press note issued on November 7, it was reported that Reddy and Ali were confirmed to be associates in the case. Ali has also filed for anticipatory bail in connection with the case.
Reddy, a former BJP Minister in the state, is on bail in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the southern state for over a decade from 2002-12.
"The judge has issued notice to the prosecutor for filing objections, if any, against Reddy's petition for anticipatory bail," said his counsel.
Reddy's counsel also requested the court that the investigating officers be changed.
The ED on Thursday charged Ambidant owners Syed Fareed Ahmed and his son Syed Afaq Ahmed with running a potential Ponzi scheme offering huge interest to investors in the name of 'Islamic banking'.
"Investigation revealed that the city-based Ambidant Marketing Ltd has been operating a potential Ponzi scheme and duping hundreds of investors in the name of Islamic banking and 'Halal' investment," the ED said in a statement.
Since its inception on December 20, 2016, the company is alleged to have received Rs 954 crore as investments under Haj/Umrah and Ultimate plans.
Interrogation of the Ahmeds (father and son) revealed that the duo had allegedly gifted Reddy 57 kg gold valued at Rs 18 crore through his personal assistant Ali Khan for bailing them out of the cases from the police and the ED.
CCB officers raided Reddy's residence in Ballari on Thursday, a day after he was accused of being involved in a ponzi scam. He allegedly took 20 crore rupees from Syed Ahmed Fareed, the owner of Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, to strike a deal with Enforcement Directorate officials to stop investigations of a case against the company. A CCB source told TNM at the time, that Syed confessed to having given the 20 crores to Reddy, of which Rs 2 crore were given as cash and 57 kg of gold bullion worth Rs 18 crore given to him after laundering it through two jewellery firms.