Mining case: NGO wants CBI to appeal against discharge of Reddy's wife

Mining case: NGO wants CBI to appeal against discharge of Reddy's wife

 The Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS), an NGO and petitioner before the Supreme Court in illegal mining cases in the state, has written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take immediate steps for filing appeal against the discharge of Lakshmi Aruna, wife of former minister G Janardhana Reddy.

A CBI special court had discharged Lakshmi Aruna in the Associated Mining Company (AMC).

CBI’s request for filing the appeal was rejected by the Directorate of Prosecution, New Delhi. The CBI court had discharged both Lakshmi Aruna and IAS officer M E Shivalingamurthy, former director of Mines and Geology. The CBI had recommended that criminal revision petitions (CRP) be filed challenging the discharge of both.

“The subsequent action revealed that CRP was filed only against Shivalingamurthy. This review petition was allowed by the Karnataka High Court recently and the accused will now have to face trial in the CBI court. We are anxious to know the reasons spelt out by your (CBI) office in New Delhi for their decision (not to file CRP against Lakshmi),” the letter said.

The CBI had filed the charge sheet against Reddy, his wife Aruna and others in 2012. Lakshmi Aruna was director in-charge of AMC. However, the CBI court discharged Aruna and Shivalingamurthy before hearing on the charge.

The court held that though Aruna had signed the documents pertaining to the businesses of AMC, the prosecution could not establish the guilty mind behind the act. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had accorded permission to challenge discharge of Shivalingamurthy, however the Directorate of Prosecution has opined that there was lack of evidence to suggest criminal intent on the part of Aruna in signing documents related to illegal activities of AMC.

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