Suspended CBI judge Pattabhirama Rao was arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau officials (ACB) at his Hyderabad residence on Monday in connection with Gali Janardhan Reddy's cash-for-bail scam.
So far, including Pattabhirama Rao, ACB officials have made three arrests for allegedly involving in a conspiracy to grant bail for former Karnataka minister, Galli Janardhan Reddy, in the Bellary mining case.
Retired Andhra Pradesh district judge TV Chalapathi Rao and T Ravi Chandra, son of Pattabhirama Rao, are the other two who have arrested in connection with the case.
According to sources, ACB sleuths have procured about Rs 10.6 million from the bank lockers of Ravi chandra and Rs 10.14 million was seized from Chalapati Rao's brother Balaji Rao.
ACB officials raided Ravi Chandra, TV Chalapathi Rao and his relatives' residences in Hyderabad before arresting them on Sunday.
Earlier this month, Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan Lokur suspended tainted Judge T Pattabhirama Rao for allegedly taking a whopping Rs 50 million as kickbacks from Gali Janardhan Reddy, a prime accused in Bellary mining case, for granting him bail.
Judge Pattabhirama Rao granted an unconditional bail to Reddy in connection with Obulapuram illegal mining case on May 11. However, Reddy was taken to the Bangalore jail in connection with another mining case
The CBI speculated that Pattabhirama Rao was reportedly under influence for granting bail to Reddy despite strong evidence against him. They approached Madan Lokur who suspended the judge. Following this, the CBI approached ACB with a complaint accusing Pattabhirama and seven others of indulging in a conspiracy for granting bail to Reddy.
According to CBI sources, the alleged bribe money of Rs 50 million was invested in the bank lockers belonging to Pattabhirama Rao and his kin. Meanwhile, the federal agency has sought the bank authorities not to allow the accused judge and his relatives to access the lockers.
Sources said that the CBI has already raided the suspended judge's bank lockers and has seized the bribe amount.
Former Karnataka BJP minister Gali Janardhan Reddy was arrested last year for allegedly carrying out illegal mining in and around Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh through Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) and Associated Mining Company owned by him and his relatives.
Reddy's bail plea was rejected by a Karnataka court last Wednesday considering that he could possibly tamper with the evidence against him in the case.
Reddy was shifted from Hyderabad prison to Bangalore jail on March 2 after he secured bail in the OMC case.