Mining scam: SC refuses bail to senior woman IAS officer

Y Srilakshmi

In a setback to senior woman IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh, Y Srilakshmi, allegedly involved in the Obulapuram mining scam along with Karnataka's Reddy brothers, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant her bail.

A Bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad asked Srilakshmi to approach the special CBI judge in Hyderabad, dealing with the case, for bail.

The apex court said it was not inclined to grant her any relief at this stage as the CBI had filed its supplementary chargesheet and it would be appropriate if the officer makes a fresh bail plea before the court concerned.

Srilakshmi had moved the apex court challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court order cancelling her bail, granted by the special CBI judge. The high court had cancelled the bail on the ground that she had the propensity to tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses.

Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha appearing for the CBI opposed Srilakshmi's bail plea, saying her presence was still necessary for the investigating agency.

Senior counsel L Nageswara Rao, appearing for Srilakshmi, however, argued that the officer was willing to cooperate with the investigating agencies and that there was no threat from her to witnesses.

He submitted as the investigation has been completed and the supplementary chargesheet filed, there was no need to detain her further as it would be violative of her right to life and liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Bench, however, was not convinced with the argument and asked the IAS officer to approach the CBI court afresh.

The bench had earlier sought clarification from Additional Solicitor General Tankha, who had appeared for the CBI, if the agency would file its chargesheet by March 30.

The CBI, in its interim report, had opposed her bail plea on the ground that she was a senior IAS officer and her husband, being an IPS officer, there was a possibility of the accused tampering with the evidence and influencing witnesses.

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