SC rejects mining baron's plea to campaign in Ballari

SC rejects mining baron's plea to campaign in Ballari

G Janardhana Reddy sought permission to enter Ballari district in Karnataka for electioneering

BJP leader G Janardhana Reddy. DH file photo

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea made by former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy to permit him to visit Ballari for campaigning in the state Assembly polls scheduled for May 12.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan dismissed his application for modifying the conditions of his bail granted on January 21, 2015. The top court had then released Reddy on the bail in a case of illegal mining with a condition that he would not visit Ballari, Ananthpuram and Kadapa.

On Friday, a counsel moved a fresh plea before the court, contending that Reddy wanted to cast his vote and campaign for his brother G Somashekara Reddy, who is a candidate from Ballari city constituency.

The court, without hearing elaborate argument, trashed the application. “We are not entertaining it,” the bench said.

Earlier, the apex court had rejected a plea by Reddy to grant him permission to permanently live in Ballari, his home district, on the ground that his family members were living over there. Reddy has been away from his home district for over six years.

Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy, Managing Director of OMC, were arrested by CBI on September 5, 2011. In the OMC case, the company was accused of changing mining lease boundary markings and indulging in illegal mining in the Bellari Reserve Forest area, spread over Ballari and Ananthpuram district.