Hyderabad: The CBI on Thursday told a local court that illegal mining allegedly involving Obulapuram Mining Company owned by former Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy had resulted in a loss of Rs 5,100 crore to the state exchequer.

The agency which filed a chargesheet in the case against Reddy and four others on December 3, told the CBI Special Court that by no means it was a small case in terms of financial loss to the government.

"The matter (illegal mining) is very serious. Considering its seriousness, the Supreme Court has taken cognisance of illegal mining involving Reddys," Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said, opposing the fresh bail pleas of Gali Janaradhan Reddy and his brother-in-law and OMC Managing Director Srinivas Reddy.

He alleged that "The OMC scam has resulted in a loss of Rs 5,100 crore to the national exchequer", adding though a chargesheet has been filed in the case, they were continuing the probe on the role of public servants and private persons who "facilitated" the Reddys in the illegal mining activity.

Parasaran submitted that CBI file a supplementary chargesheet in the case after Mehfuz Ali Khan, the absconding personal assistant of Janardhan Reddy, is nabbed as he has lot of information about the scam.

He also reiterated the agency's apprehension that if Reddys were enlarged on bail, they may threaten the witnesses.

The CBI has been granted permission to start three new courts from January next year and one of them can be utilized for speeding up the trial in the "illegal" mining case, he submitted.

Countering the CBI arguments, senior defence counsel Umamaheshwar Rao contended that the CBI in its chargesheet stated it had completed investigations against his clients, and sought to know "what was the need for opposing the bail pleas now when investigation was over".

Judge Nagamaruti Sarma posted the matter on Friday for further arguments.

The fresh plea by the Reddys contend that there is no possibility of immediate trial in the case till the prosecution (CBI) obtains sanction to prosecute senior IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, the fourth accused in the OMC case, and that they cannot be detained in judicial custody for no fault of theirs.

The CBI, which is probing alleged illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of mining leases to OMC, had arrested Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy on September 5 from Karnataka and they are under judicial custody and lodged in the Chanchalguda Jail here since then.

Reddys' bail pleas have been rejected earlier on three occasions.

(Agencies)