In a latest development, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials arrested retired Andhra Pradesh district judge TV Chalapathi Rao and T Ravi Chandra, son of the suspended CBI judge T Pattabihi Ramarao, on Saturday, in connection with former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy's cash-for-bail case.
The ACB officials conducted search operations at the residences of Chalapathi Rao and Pattabihi Ramarao in Hyderabad earlier in the day. They questioned both before taking them into custody and they will be produced before the magistrate court.
Earlier this month, Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan Lokur suspended Judge T Pattabihi Ramarao for allegedly taking a whopping Rs 50 million as kickbacks from Galli Janardhan Reddy, a prime accused in Bellary mining case, for granting him bail.
Judge Ramarao 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 Ramarao was reportedly under influence for granting bail to Reddy despite strong evidence against him. They approached AP High Court Chief Justice Madan Lokur who suspended the judge.
Following this, the CBI approached ACB with a complaint accusing Ramarao and seven others of indulging in a conspiracy for granting bail to Reddy.
According to the CBI sources, the alleged bribe money of Rs 50 million was invested into the bank lockers belonging to Ramarao 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 bank lockers belonging to the suspended judge and seized the bribe amount from them. Meanwhile, the CBI is expected to file a case against Ramarao under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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.