SC declines interim bail to senior woman IAS officer

The Supreme Court today declined to grant interim bail to Andhra Pradesh IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, one of the accused in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) case involving Karnataka's Reddy brothers, but agreed to examine her plea on February 21.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad asked Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha, appearing for CBI, to ensure the agency files its chargesheet before February 15 and place a copy before it.

Tankha opposed her bail plea on the ground that she was a senior IAS officer and her husband, being an IPS officer, there was a possibility of the accused tampering with the evidence and witnesses.

Though counsel L Nageswara Rao and Mukul Rohtagi gave an assurance that the woman IAS officer was "willing to move out of the state" to avoid any apprehension of her interfering with the investigation process, the bench declined to give the official any interim relief.

The high court had earlier cancelled Srilakshmi's bail granted by a special CBI court in Hyderabad and directed her to surrender before January 6, upon which she moved the apex court.

However, the apex court too had at that time refused to interfere with the order, following which she surrendered.

The special CBI court in Hyderabad had earlier granted a conditional bail to Srilakshmi, who was holding the charge of Secretary, Mines, at the time of the alleged scam in 2007 and was arrested on a charge of abusing the official position to grant favours to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy-owned OMC.

On December 2, the high court reversed the order and asked the 1988-batch suspended officer to surrender before the CBI special court before January 6.

The high court had said Srilakshmi had betrayed her official duty and did not deserve the bail, which it said the lower court had granted wrongly. 

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