The First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Bengaluru on Wednesday granted bail to former Karnataka Minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, who was arrested in connection with a money laundering and bribery case. The bail was granted after Janardhana Reddy's right-hand man Mehfuz Ali Khan had submitted an affidavit in court stating that the former was not involved in Ambidant's fraudulent activities.
Janardhana Reddy has been directed to deposit a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh. His associates, Nanjunda Reddy and Raghuram Reddy, have filed the sureties to execute the bond. On Tuesday, Justice Jagadeesh, who was hearing the case, reprimanded the Central Crime Branch sleuths and stated that the investigators were digressing from the case by naming Reddy Ready as an accused. According to the CCB, Janardhana Reddy had allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 20 crore - Rs 2 crore in cash and the remaining money through 57 kg Gold bullion.
The investigators had stated that Reddy's right-hand man Mehfuz had acted as the middleman in the transaction between Reddy and Ambidant. On Tuesday, Mehfuz stated in his affidavit that he had taken the money as a loan from Ambidant without any knowledge of the company's fraudulent activities. Mehfuz stated that the loan money was used but the gold bullion was donated to various places of worship.
An FIR was registered against Janardhana Reddy in a multi-crore scam involving Bengaluru-based investment company Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd. The company‚Äôs chief Syed Ahmed Fareed allegedly transported 57kg of gold to Janardhana Reddy.
The gold was transferred from Ramesh Kothari, owner of Ambika Sales Corporation in Bengaluru, to Ramesh, who runs Rajmahal Fancy Jewellers in Ballari, as a form of payment to Janardhana Reddy. The mining baron has been accused of bribing Enforcement Directorate officials and police in a bid to protect the owners of Ambidant, Syed Ahmed Fareed and his son Syed Afaq Ahmed, who have been accused of executing a ponzi scheme by baiting customers in the guise of 'Islamic Bank'.
Soon after the FIR, Janardhana Reddy had absconded for two days. He later showed up at the CCB office on Saturday for questioning. After 11 hours of interrogation, Janardhana Reddy was taken to the home of a judge by the CCB on Sunday morning, where a warrant was signed for his arrest.
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.