Mining baron and former BJP leader Janardhana Reddy appeared before the SIT probing bribery allegations against H D Kumaraswamy. Reddy who appeared after being summoned as a witness to the alleged Rs 150 crore kickback case of 2006 submitted a CD as proof.
Janardhana Reddy had appeared before the officials on May 19 but had sought three weeks time to produce proof. After he failed to turn up, a fresh summons was issued by the SIT. On Tuesday, the mining baron carried a CD with him when he appeared before the officials for the second time as a witness in the case.
Earlier in the day, former Chief Minister of Karnataka H D Kumaraswamy was denied anticipatory bail by a special court in the Janthakal mining company case. Kumaraswamy who had been granted interim relief earlier was denied the same this time around. The JD(S) state president is accused of misuse of office, corruption and illegal grants of permission to a mining company when he was the Chief Minister in 2007.
Double trouble for H D Kumaraswamy
Janardhana Reddy's move to produce a CD as proof of bribery allegation against Kumaraswamy comes on the day the latter was denied an anticipatory bail in a related case. In 2006, Janardhana Reddy had claimed that he had CDs that contained conversations between Kumaraswamy and mining company owners. Reddy had alleged that Kumaraswamy demanded a bribe of Rs 150 crore from mining company owners to renew licenses.
Following a Supreme Court order, the Special Investigation Team of the Lokayukta relaunched an investigation into the Janthakal mining company case. Armed with an anticipatory bail, Kumaraswamy had even appeared before the SIT for questioning in connection with the case on May 18. Kumaraswamy was summoned by the Lokayukta SIT following the arrest of senior IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya who was the then commissioner of mines.
With no arrest warrant against him, Kumaraswamy does not face immediate arrest, however, rejection of his bail petition has come as a setback for him. IAS officer Gangaram Baderiya, who was the then Commissioner of Mines department, had made official notings accusing Kumaraswamy and his office of pressurising him to clear files that favoured Janthakal mining company illegally. The case is related to the renewal of a mining lease and granting of a work permit to lift an old, abandoned iron ore dump in Holalkere taluk of Chitradurga district that belonged to Janthakal Enterprises.