The Supreme Court on Friday permitted former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy to visit his ailing father-in law in Ballari district, PTI reported. The matter was heard by a vacation bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee.
Reddy is facing charges in a case of illegal mining in the district and, according to Bar and Bench, one of his bail conditions is that he will not be able to visit Ballari without the court’s permission. He moved the top court on Thursday to seek permission to visit the district.
The top court allowed Reddy to visit his father-in-law for two weeks, starting from June 8. However, the bench refused to consider his request to dilute the prior condition of getting permission from the court to visit Ballari. “This time, his father-in-law had suffered a stroke. He had undergone three bypass surgeries,” senior advocate S Ganesh, representing Reddy, said. “His medical condition is extremely precarious and he was lying in ICU of a hospital over there [Ballari].”
The lawyer further argued that Reddy had been permitted to visit Ballari on several occasions but has not had a single complaint of bail violations. The additional solicitor general opposed the plea, saying that Reddy was the primary accused in the case.
The Supreme Court expressed concern about the delay in trial in the Rs 35,000-crore mining scam, noting that charges have not been framed against the accused in the last six years, PTI reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation could not frame charges because few other co-accused have filed pleas seeking discharge from the case and they are still pending, Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, appearing for the agency, said. Divan added that the agency would like to file a detailed response in the case.
In March, the top court had rejected Reddy’s plea to modify his bail restriction over Ballari visit.
Reddy was a minister in the BS Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in the Assembly elections in 2008. Three years later, the CBI arrested him on charges of illegal mining. He was arrested again in 2015 and granted bail. As part of his bail conditions, Reddy also cannot visit Anantapur and Kadapa districts in Andhra Pradesh.
Reddy’s firm, the Obulapuram Mining Company, is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings and indulging in illegal mining in the Ballari Reserve Forest area. The mining baron is also facing charges in a ponzi scheme case.