Bengaluru, November 11: Ballari mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy was arrested, along with an aide, after hours of questioning in an alleged bribery case in Bengaluru on Sunday. Reddy was sent to judicial custody till November 24.
“We have taken the decision to arrest him on the basis of credible evidence and witnesses statements,” said Alok Kumar, additional commissioner of police, central crime branch (CCB) of Bengaluru police.
The bribery case against Reddy pertains to one Syed Ahmed Fareed, a ponzi scam accused, alleged to have cheated around 15,000 people to the tune of Rs 600 crore through his firm Ambidant Marketing.
Fareed allegedly told police that he had given Reddy 57 kg of gold worth Rs 18 crore after the latter promised to help him in an investigation launched by the Enforcement Directorate.
The central crime branch of the Bengaluru police had questioned Reddy from around 4 pm on Saturday, when he appeared before the police, till about 2.30 am, police sources confirmed. The questioning resumed on Sunday before Reddy was arrested, police said.
His secretary Ali Khan was also arrested. Reddy was taken to a hospital for medical check up and produced before a magistrate. He has been sent to judicial custody till November 24 and will be taken to the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison. Reddy’s lawyers approached the magistrate with a bail application which has been listed for hearing on Monday.
In a series of videos released on Saturday, Reddy had rebutted all the charges and criticised the police for “spreading false information”.
Refuting allegations by police that he was apparently on the run, Reddy said he had been in Bengaluru the whole time.
Speaking to HT, Reddy’s advocate Sunil Kumar said he had just been informed of the arrest.
“We will wait and watch what happens as it is a holiday today. We will apply for bail once the situation becomes clear,” Kumar said.
A strongman from Ballari, Reddy was denied ticket by BJP in the Karnataka assembly elections in May, but campaigned for his two brothers, Gali Karunakara Reddy and Gali Somashekhara Reddy and his aide Sriramulu, who had won the Ballari seat.
However, after Sriramulu resigned as the Ballari Lok Sabha MP, Congress won the seat in the recent by-election.