Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday placed another judge under suspension in connection with the bail-for-cash scandal involving former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhana Reddy, an accused in illegal mining case.
The HC suspended Laxminarasimha Rao, City Small Causes Court Chief Judge, after Andhra Pradesh`s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) conducted searches at his residence.
He is the third judge to be suspended by the HC in connection with the scandal. Earlier, Prabhakar Rao, a Family Court Judge at Srikakulam district, and Special Judge for CBI Cases Pattabhirama Rao were suspended for their alleged involvement in the scam.
The ACB has registered a case against Pattabhirama and seven others under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). The agency has so far arrested Pattabhirama, his son Ravichandra, retired Judge T V Chalapathi Rao, alleged history sheeter Yadagiri Rao and Ravi Suryaprakash Babu, a realtor, for teh scam.
According to ACB, during investigations it was found that Suryaprakash Babu had allegedly mediated between the Gali brothers (Janardhana and Somsekhara Reddy) and Laxminarasimha Rao and offered Rs 10 crore as bribe for granting bail to the former Minister.
"Laxminarasimha Rao called Prabhakar Rao to his house in the presence of Suryaprakash Babu and persuaded Prabhakar Rao to meet Special Judge for CBI cases Pattabhirama Rao, with the offer of Rs 10 crore for granting the said bail," an ACB release said.
After the scam broke, the matter was referred to the ACB which registered a case last month against Pattabhirama Rao and seven others under relevant sections of the IPC and PCA.
Janardhan Reddy, a mining baron, and his brother-in-
law B V Srinivas Reddy, who is Managing Director of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), were arrested on September 5, 2011 from Bellary in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad.
CBI filed a chargesheet against the Reddys and three others last December.
OMC has been 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 AP.
Janardhan Reddy is currently lodged in Bangalore Central Prison 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.