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SC agrees to hear Janardhana Reddy’s appeal to visit Ballari

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the petition of mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, who was denied permission to visit his hometown of Ballari while on bail in a mining dispute.

Reddy’s new petition for permission to visit Ballari was noted by a bench comprising, Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah, who said the matter would be heard by Chief Justice N V Ramana next week.

Reddy, who was charged for a multi-crore illegal mining case, has been out on bail since 2015, and the apex court has imposed several restrictions on him, including barring him from visiting Ballari in Karnataka and Ananthapur and Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh.

On April 5, a bench consisting of Justices Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy reserved judgement on a similar petition filed by Reddy seeking alteration of the apex court’s bail conditions imposed in 2015.

The CBI, represented by Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, opposed Reddy’s request that the interim application be heard during the summer break, claiming, “It looks like a side wind to get into Ballary.”

The CBI had previously opposed Reddy’s similar petition, claiming that he should not be permitted to visit the Karnataka district of Bellary because he wields significant power and could interfere with the investigation. “He has led several petitions to go to waste, and witnesses under police protection have been attacked, and vehicles have been set on fire,” the CBI said. There are over 40 witnesses there. We do not know what will happen if this gentleman is allowed to enter the area,” the probe agency had said.

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