A third judge has been suspended by the Andhra Pradesh High Court for alleged involvement in the cash-for-bail case involving former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy. Laxminarashimha Rao was a judge in the city civil fast-track court.
Laxminarasimha Rao is said to have accompanied Prabhakar Rao, who was on deputation to the state Election Commission as legal advisor, to propose to the then first additional special CBI court judge Pattabhi Rama Rao that a bribe of Rs 10 crore would be paid to him in exchange for bail orders being issued in favour of Gali Janardhan Reddy. Prabhakar Rao was recalled from the state Election Commission and subsequently suspended by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on July 6.
Mr Reddy was granted bail by CBI's first additional special court judge Pattabhi Rama Rao on May 11. The CBI later found out that Mr Rao received huge bribe to grant bail to Mr Reddy. Mr Rao was then suspended and was arrested on the 19th of June. The High Court struck down the bail order last month.
The others arrested in the case include Pattabhi Rama Rao's son Ravi Chandra, his long-time associate and retired judge Chalapathi Rao, rowdy-sheeter Yadagiri Rao and a Hyderabad-based realtor B. Surya Prakash Rao who was remanded to 14 days in judicial custody and sent to Cherlapally Jail on Tuesday.
Yadagiri is said to have told investigators that though the deal proposed by Laxminarasimha Rao and Prabhakar Rao fell through, the deal brokered by him through Chalapathi Rao and Pattabhi Rama Rao's son was finalised for a payment of 20 crore rupees as bribe by Gali Janardhan Reddy's relatives.
Since it was before byelections in Andhra Pradesh, there were stringent checks from Bellary enroute to Hyderabad, and movement of money could evoke suspicion, the realtor had paid up part of the money on behalf of the Gali family.
The CBI filed the case with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on the 8th of June. The agency on June 9 had booked eight people in the case. The others include Janardhana Reddy's brother Somasekhara Reddy and Suresh Babu, both legislators from Karnataka, as well as their relative Dasarathrami Reddy.
Janardhana Reddy is currently lodged in Bangalore jail as he is standing trial in another mining case in Karnataka.