Janardhana Reddy's chopper now in OMC custody

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here on Tuesday granted interim custody of the Bell-407 helicopter to Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), owned by former Karnataka tourism minister Gali Janardhan Reddy currently in jail in connection with an illegal mining case.

The helicopter is lying in an aerodrome in Bangalore.

The court, however, directed the CBI to give the chopper’s interim custody to OMC after production of a personal bond for Rs 6.62 crore, after verifying the evaluation reports of the chopper.

The court asked OMC to produce a third party surety offering security of the immovable property for the said amount in favour of the court.

As per the court’s directions, the company has to produce the purchase bill of the chopper and not alienate, transfer, encumber or change the physical state of the helicopter.

The CBI had earlier opposed the release of the chopper and some luxury cars owned by Janardhan Reddy and OMC’s Managing Director B V Srinivas Reddy.

The Reddys in February 2012 approached the special CBI court seeking release of the chopper and some cars that were seized by the investigating agency after their arrest pleading that the expensive chopper and cars require periodical maintenance.

However, CBI objected handing over of the helicopter and cars as they were bought in the name of the OMC and Reddys purchased them with “ill-gotten” money that was made in the mining scam.

Last September the CBI court had permitted the family members of Gali Janardana Reddy to collect the expensive Rolls Royce car CBI sleuths had seized when they arrested the former mining baron. The court then directed them to deposit an amount of Rs. 2.45 crore for getting possession of the car.

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