The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the CBI for failing to frame charges even after a gap of 6 years in a mining case registered against former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy, who had moved the apex court seeking permission to visit Ballari to see his father-in-law recuperating from a health condition and currently admitted in the ICU of a local hospital.
Although, the court granted Reddy two weeks, beginning from June 8, to visit Ballari and attend to his ailing father-in-law, but sought a concrete reply from the CBI regarding the reason for not framing charges in the case yet.
“Even 6 yrs down the line charges have not been framed yet. Why? We would like to know”, said a bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi
The CBI counsel contended that Reddy has been delaying the trial proceedings by filing applications at various stages of the trial. A chargesheet has been filed in the case, but charges are yet to be framed. And, this is his seventh application in the apex court to visit Ballari after being granted bail in the matter.
Senior advocate S Ganesh appearing for Reddy rebutted that there have been no complaints against Reddy for violating any conditions of bail. “He had earlier been to Ballari for three weeks, but there is no complaint against him. His father-in-law had bypass surgeries and we have already placed medical records to establish the same”, submitted Ganesh before the court.
The CBI counsel contended that Reddy on one pretext or the other has been seeking permission to visit Ballari. “He had already been Ballari for his daughter’s weeding then again, he wanted to visit Ballari to attend one of his friend’s daughter weeding….he had already diluted the conditions imposed on his bail”, said the CBI counsel.
The court observed that delay in failing to frame charges cannot be justified, and it is the burden on the prosecution to counter the delay.
The CBI counsel informed the court that nearly 300 witnesses have been listed in the case, and that Reddy is the main accused.