Hyderabad: CBI judge T Pattabihi Ramarao, who was on Friday suspended by the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan Lokur over allegations that he granted bail to Bellary mining baron Galli Janardhan Reddy after taking a bribe of Rs 5 crore, may be arrested, sources said on Saturday.
Reddy was granted bail in Obulapuram illegal mining case on May 12, 2012 by Judge Ramarao. However, the former Karnataka minister is still under custody in Bangalore as he is yet to secure bail in the Associated Mining Co illegal mining case.
Granting of bail to Reddy in Obulapuram case had come as a surprise to many given the strong stand being adopted on corruption cases by courts in the country
Amid murmurs of an underhand deal, the CBI initiated a probe against Ramarao and discovered that Janardhan Reddy had paid a bribe of Rs 5 crores to the Judge.
As per Andhra Jyoti newspaper, Rs 2 crores of the bribe amount was stashed in a locker belonging to Ramarao’s son. The rest was kept in another location.
Armed with proof, the CBI approached the Chief Justice, who ordered the investigating agency to continue with the probe.
The CBI then opened the locker and seized the bribe amount. Following which the Chief Justice discussed the matter with High Court Collegium and suspended Pattabhi Ramarao.
Ramarao has been asked not to leave Hyderabad without the High Court’s permission even as the CBI gets ready to register a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption act.
(With agency inputs)