The Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested two people accused in the cash-for-bail case, in which a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court judge Pattabhi Rama Rao was accused of accepting bribes running into crores of rupees for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy who is accused in the Obulapuram mining case being investigated by the CBI. The two people arrested include a retired judge TV Chalapathi Rao, said to be a long-time associate of Pattabhi Rama Rao, and also the son of Pattabhi Rama Rao, Ravichandra.
Mr Rao, who was the First Additional Special Judge for CBI cases in Hyderabad, had granted conditional bail on May 11 to the mining baron while rejecting the bail to suspended IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, another accused in the Obulapuram mining case.
Mr Reddy, however, did not walk out of jail because he was at that time in a Bangalore jail in connection with another mining case allegedly involving Associated Mining Corporation (AMC) and Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS) owned by him and his wife Aruna Lakshmi.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on May 23 had suspended Mr Reddy's bail.
Following a tip-off that there was a conspiracy to bribe and grant bail to Mr Reddy, the CBI conducted searches and recovered upto Rs 1.6 crore from five bank lockers belonging to Pattabhi Rama Rao. The High Court on May 31 suspended Mr Rao amid allegations of illegal gratification and corruption against him.
The CBI lodged a complaint with the ACB on June 8 that G Somashekhar Reddy, brother of Gali Janardhan Reddy, G Dasaratha Ram Reddy, TH Suresh Baabu, T Aditya, Advocate, TV Chalapathi Rao, a retired judge, Pattabhi Rama Rao former first Additional Special Judge, CBI and others entered in conspiracy to show official favour and grant bail to Gali Janardhan Reddy who was arrested on September 5 from Bellary and had committed criminal misconduct.
The CBI had recovered Rs 1,60,20,000 from five lockers after seizing the keys from Ravi Chandra, son of Pattabhi Rama Rao. The CBI also seized Rs 1,14,16,000 from T Balaji Rao, brother of Chalapathi Rao, said to be a friend and old associate of Pattabhi Rama Rao.
The ACB had registered cases under section relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. Today the houses of Pattabhi Rama Rao, Chalapathi Rao, TST Saibabu and E Uma Maheshwar Rao at Hyderabad and P Srinivas Rao, Chilakaluripet, Guntur District were searched and incriminating material was reportedly found.
Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy, who is the managing director of the Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC), were arrested on September 5, from Bellary in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad. The CBI had filed a chargesheet against the Reddys and three others in December last.
The OMC is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and indulging in illegal mining in the Bellary Reserve Forest areas, spread between Bellary district of Karnataka and Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
The bail order was subsequently set aside by the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the bail plea has been sent to the lower court for being taken up afresh.