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Andhra high court cancels ex-official’s bail in mining case

The Monday set aside the order of a special CBI court granting bail to former bureaucrat VD Rajagopal in the illegal mining case involving the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) of former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy.

The high court, which had stayed the order of the lower court Dec 16, cancelled the bail on the ground that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was investigating his role in the scam.

Justice N.R.L. Nageswara Rao pronounced the order on a petition by the CBI challenging the verdict of the special court.

Rajagopal, a former vice chairman and managing director of the state-owned Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC), allegedly played a key role in granting iron ore mining leases to OMC.

The investigating agency had sought the cancellation of bail, saying the investigations were at a crucial stage. It also argued that if released on bail, the accused could influence and threaten the witnesses.

The CBI counsel had argued that the grant of bail to the accused would jeopardise the ongoing investigation. He told the court that CBI was yet to recover ill-gotten wealth running into thousands of crores of rupees.

The special court Dec 15 had granted bail to Rajagopal, but within three hours stayed the implementation of the order till Dec 19 on a petition by the CBI.

The next day, CBI moved the high court challenging the bail order.

Meanwhile, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Y. Srilakshmi Monday filed a counter to the CBI petition in the high court.

Srilakshmi was released on bail Dec 2, four days after the CBI arrested her on charges of approving mining leases in violation of rules.

The high court is to hear Dec 28 the CBI petition, challenging the special court’s order.


Janardhana Reddy, his brother-in-law and OMC Managing Director B.V. Srinivasa Reddy and Rajagopal are currently lodged in Chanchalgida central jail here.

The special court, which has rejected three bail petitions of Janardhana Reddy and Srinivasa Reddy, has reserved its orders on the fourth. The orders are scheduled to be pronounced Dec 28.

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