CBI rejects Janardana's offer to turn approver
Investigation mainly concerns illegal mining, but also includes cases relating to money laundering and other matters
CBI officials refused former minister G Janardana Reddy's offer to turn approver in the illegal mining case, in which he is the main accused and his brother-in-law B V Srinivasa, who is the MD of Obalapuram Mining Company, were being questioned separately in presence of their lawyers and were co-operating.
A highly placed source in the CBI said that Janardana, who has vital information regarding illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, proposed to spill the beans on bigger fish if allowed turn approver.
However, officials of the investigative agency turned down his offer because technically, it would not be possible.
"How can the main accused in a case be allowed to turn approver? While it mainly concerns illegal mining, we are also investigating cases relating to money laundering and other financial irregularities.
Therefore, it is not practical to consider his request," said the source.
The source added that the CBI wanted to conduct narco analysis, polygraph and brain mapping, but the accused were yet to give consent.
According to Supreme Court guidelines, consent of the accused is necessary before conducting such tests.
However, sources said that the CBI had collected some vital evidence to link the case to some top politicians and business tycoons in the country.
Several teams are conducting raids in Bellary, Bangalore and Hyderabad, based on Reddy's information and they have already verified some 130 documents.
Janaradana Reddy had once said he would drop a bomb shell in the form of shocking news, and then it was speculated that he was about expose some of the top politicians linking to illegal mining, and now he is understood to have offered to share the information with the CBI.
CBI Joint Director V V Lakshminarayana told reporters that they would question all those whose names crop up during the interrogation.
"We can question anybody and can conduct searches at any place. Let us see surfaces during the questioning," he said.
He hinted that the investigating agency might seek custody of the two for a few more days and everything depends on what information is gathered.
CBI officials resumed grilling the mining baron and his relative at its office in Koti after the accused were brought back from an undisclosed location amid tight security around 10 am yesterday.
An official said as the CBI office had no lockup, the accused were taken to another place on Tuesday night, but he did not disclose the location.
They were believed to be lodged in Central Crime Station of the city police, where the CBI has its own lockup.
On Tuesday, after a special court for CBI cases remanded the accused to CBI custody till September 19, the officials grilled them for about five hours.
The agency is mainly focusing on extracting information about the illegal mining that Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) indulged in, exports of illegally mined iron ore and the role of others accused, especially government officials.
The prosecution had told the court that it wants to ascertain where the OMC carried out illegal mining and how they transported the iron ore to the Antaragangamma Konda (AGK) mining area in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district.
Terming it as a huge crime syndicate spread over Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the CBI had told the court that it wants to find out everything from the 'kingpins'.
While Reddy is apparently exploring option of turning approver, he is understood to have sent a signal to his camp not to embarrass the CBI by criticizing it in public.
As a result, his followers, who were on the rampage in Bellary, have stopped protesting and issuing statements about CBI being a tool in the hands of the UPA government.
However, the development triggered hectic political activities in the city and after getting wind of Janardana's suggestion, BJP leaders huddled together to chalk out a plan of action to counter the eventualities. As a strategy, they have decided to target the CBI in public.