Two judges in Andhra Pradesh have been arrested on Thursday for alleged corruption. They are accused of offering a 10-crore bribe to a third judge in exchange for bail for a powerful politician.
The scam involves former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, who was arrested in Bellary on September 5, 2011, because a mining company owned by him in Andhra Pradesh allegedly violated several laws.
The politician was moved to a Karnataka jail in March for another illegal mining case.
His case in Andhra Pradesh was being heard by Pattabhi Rama Rao, who headed a special CBI court in Hyderabad.
He granted bail to Mr Reddy on May 11. The CBI later found that the judge had received a kickback of several crores from representatives of Mr Reddy. The judge, Pattabhi Rama Rao, was arrested on June 19, and the Andhra Pradesh High Court cancelled the politician's bail a few days later.
CCTV footage at a local hotel showed Mr Reddy's brother, Somasekhar Reddy, and others meeting the judge's son in a hotel in Hyderabad. After that, money was found in the bank lockers and home of the judge and his associates.
It turns out that Pattabhi Rama Rao, the judge handling Mr Reddy's case, had received two offers of bribes. One was routed through the two judges arrested today. The other- the one that went through - was allegedly brokered by Pattabhi Rama Rao's son, a retired judge, a local realtor, and a chargesheeted criminal.
According to one of the men arrested, transporting the cash to Hyderabad from Mr Reddy's home in Karnataka was tough because by-elections were being held in Andhra Pradesh at the time, and there were lots of checks on vehicles moving in and out of the state from Karnataka.
So the realtor in Hyderabad was commissioned to pay Pattabhi Rama Rao a part of the 20 crores that was meant to be paid for the bribe, commission another expenses for managing people at the court''.
The CBI and and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) have filed a case against eight people for the bail-for-sale scam. They include Mr Reddy's brother, Somasekhara Reddy, and Suresh Babu, both legislators from Karnataka.
Become friends with your favourite NDTV people and shows. Start now »