Mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy has been allowed to visit his hometown Bellary by the Supreme Court on Friday. The relief is widely seen by BJP leaders in the state as a chance for Reddy to have a second innings in his flagging political career.
After denying him permission several times since his alleged involvement in the Bellary mining scam cases, the Supreme Court on Friday permitted Reddy to stay in Bellary for three days.
TV reports quoted the bench as saying in its order, "We allow the petitioner-applicant to visit Bellary from 29.09.2017 to 01.10.2017 as he wants to perform necessary rituals and to participate in the celebration of the festival of Dussera along with his family members."
The apex court had on September 4 dismissed Reddy's similar plea to enter Bellary, while refusing to relax bail conditions. The foundation of Reddy’s release on bail was the condition that he would not visit Ballari and Kadapa districts.
Earlier, Reddy was granted permission by the court on certain situations, including once when his mother was critically ill.
In 2011, Reddy was arrested and jailed in connection with an illegal mining case involving his Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).
Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy, Managing Director of OMC, were arrested by CBI on September 5, 2011 from Ballari and brought to Hyderabad.
In the OMC case, the company is accused of changing the mining lease boundary markings and indulging in illegal mining in the Ballari Reserve Forest area, spread over Ballari in Karnataka and Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
The mining baron is also alleged to have bankrolled the 2008 Assembly and 2009 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, which marked the rise of the BJP in the state with BS Yeddyurappa becoming chief minister.