Cash-for-bail scam: HC dismisses bail plea of suspended judge



Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday dismissed the bail petition of suspended judge D Prabhakar Rao who was arrested for his alleged role in the cash-for-bail scam involving former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.

Justice Govinda Rajulu denied the relief to Rao observing that he had moved the bail application before the expiry of stipulated 60-day period (since arrest) and hence can not seek the benefit under section 167 of CrPC.

On completion of the 60-day period, the petitioner is entitled for bail as a matter of right, he pointed out.

Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau, probing the bail scandal, had last month arrested Prabhakar Rao, a Family Court-cum-3rd Additional district and sessions judge of Srikakulam, along with another serving judge K Lakshminarasimha Rao (the then chief judge of city and small causes court).

A retired judge TV Chalapathi Rao (who was initially arrested by the ACB), had stated in his confession to the anti-graft agency that Prabhakar Rao tried to offer a bribe of Rs 10 crore to another suspended judge T Pattabhirama Rao for granting bail to the mining baron.

The case was exposed by CBI in May after the additional special judge for CBI court Pattabhirama Rao granted bail to Janardhan Reddy while refusing the same relief to suspended IAS officer Y Srilakshmi in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scam case.

Amid allegations of bribery against judge Pattabhirama, the High Court suspended him on May 31 and transferred the case to ACB. The court subsequently cancelled Reddy's bail.

ACB has so far arrested three serving judges, including Pattabhirama, besides eight others, in two cases related to the scandal and filed a charge sheet on August 13 against Pattabhirama and seven others.

PTI