Ballari mining baron and former Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy was granted bail by a court here Wednesday in an alleged Ponzi scheme fraud case.
"It is allowed," Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate V Jagadeesh said in his order on the bail plea of Reddy, who was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the city police on Sunday.
A magistrate's court had remanded Reddy to judicial custody till November 24 Sunday.
Reddy was arrested following a marathon questioning after he appeared before the CCB, ending his elusive run for three days.
The CCB had been on the look out for Reddy, who was declared absconding by the police last week in connection with a transaction worth crores of rupees allegedly linked to a Ponzi scheme fraud involving hundreds of crores of rupees.
Reddy has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 204 (destruction of evidence), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating), as also under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The court had asked the CCB Tuesday whether there were any complaints against Reddy and whether the charges against him were filed merely on the basis of a statement of an accused.
The defence counsel had questioned the necessity of arresting Reddy when the courts had granted bail to five accused in the case.
The CCB was also on the lookout for Reddy's close aide Ali Khan, who had allegedly struck a Rs 20-crore deal with Syed Ahmed Fareed of the Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd, a company accused of involvement in the ponzi scheme, to bail him (Fareed) out of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe.
Khan has obtained bail from the Sessions Court.
During investigation, Fareed, who is on bail, had claimed that he had paid the money so as to get help from Reddy to bail him out in connection with the ED probe.
Earleir, the Reddy brothers, whose stock soared during the iron ore export boom, had played a key role in installing the BJP's first government in the south in 2008. The BJP has publicly distanced itself from Janardhana Reddy, with party chief Amit Shah recently saying it has nothing to do with him, but ground realities suggest otherwise.
Assets of Janardhana Reddy were confiscated and he was jailed for three and half years before getting bail. His daughter's Rs 500 crore extravagant wedding, days after demonetisation was announced on November 2016, became the talk of the town, amid a massive currency crunch that other far less fortunate than him faced for months on end.
(With inputs from PTI)
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