A CBI court on Wednesday extended till June 5, the judicial custody of former Karnataka Minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy and his personal assistant Mehfuz Ali Khan, arrested in connection with an illegal mining case.
Additional Civil and Sessions Court Judge and CBI special court judge B M Angadi passed the order after CBI moved an application seeking extension of custody. The judicial custody of three other accused, including two government officials who were arrested later, was also extended till June 5.
All five were produced in court via video-conferencing. Meanwhile, the bail plea of Khan has been adjourned to Thursday. Earlier arguing on Reddy’s bail application,senior counsel Ram Jethmalani submitted that no prima facie case had been made out against his client.
“It is not a case of entrustment of property by anybody to him. The lesse in this case is an open contractor who won his licence (mining) in accordance with the statute and government is getting rent and royalty from him”, he submitted.
“Mining lease has not been entrusted, it has been entered into. There is no criminal breach of trust. I am not an agent, I am an independent contractor,” Jethmalani argued. He also pointed out that Section 409 of IPC (which involves criminal breach of trust),one of the charges levelled against Reddy, was added susbsequent to his arrest.
Contending that offences made out against Reddy are non cognisable and non punishable, Jethmalani argued that the mining lease of Associated Mining Corporation,which expired in 1996, was renewed on Dec 8, 2003 and that Reddy became a member of the firm only on August 1, 2009.