CBI First Additional Special Judge T Pattabhi Ramarao
Allegedly received Rs 5 crore for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, the key accused in the OMC illegal mining case.
Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Madan B Lokur has suspended CBI First Additional Special Judge T Pattabhi Ramarao on corruption charges.
In-charge Registrar P Mastanamma on Thursday night issued an official order keeping the judge under suspension pending enquiry.
The HC, which also launched disciplinary proceedings against Ramarao under Rule 8(1) of the AP Civil Services (CC&A) Rules, 1991, ordered him not to leave Hyderabad without prior permission. For the time being, CBI Special Court Principal Judge A Pulliah will discharge additional duty at the first additional special court.
Though the order did not specify the reason behind Ramarao’s suspension, he allegedly received Rs 5 crore for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, the key accused in the OMC illegal mining case. Ramarao allegedly granted bail to Reddy on May 12, the day after a huge sum was deposited in a bank account opened in a benami name. Sources said Lokur suspended Ramarao following a complaint from the CBI after the investigative agency reportedly found that the bribe money was stashed in lockers of the judge’s kin.
Pattabhi Ramarao was one of the three additional judges recently appointed at the CBI court to handle the mounting number of cases in the state. While A Pulliah was made the principle judge, Ramarao was the first additional judge. P Nagamaruti Sharma was appointed the second additional judge while Ramana Naidu was the third additional judge.
During his tenure, Ramarao had dealt with a few cases only. While he rejected bail to IAS officer Y Srilakshmi, an accused in the illegal mining scam, he granted bail to Gali Janardhana Reddy, key accused in the case.
The CBI grew suspicious of Ramarao after Reddy’s aides were found ready with the exact security amount of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties on May 11, even before the verdict was pronounced.
Sources said Reddy’s men, in order to secure the bail, approached the son of the tainted justice and clinched the deal.
While Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over Reddy’s effort to buy out a judge, APCC chief Botsa Satyanarayan said even Jaganmohan Reddy may choose a similar way to get out of the jail.
Meanwhile, the CBI is keeping vigil on certain influential people close to former minister G Janardhana Reddy in Bangalore and Bellary in connection with allegations of bribe offered to a CBI special court judge who granted Janardhan Reddy bail in the Obalapuram Mining Case on May 11. CBI sources claim that the money recovered from the now suspended judge’s son was taken from Bellary by some close associates of Reddy.
The CBI sources say that they have the full logistical details of how the money was transported from Bellary to Hyderabad and how it was given to the judge through intermediaries.
They also add that a very close associate of Reddy who has been working with him in his mining and political activities had carried the money himself to Hyderabad.
People from Bangalore were also involved in transporting the money.
The CBI Hyderabad is yet to register a case in the regard. It is expected that the CBI will take some people in Bangalore and Bellary into custody once it registers a case. The sources also say the CBI is thinking of taking Reddy into custody.
Suspended judge booked in cash-for-bail scam
HYDERABAD, June 9, 2012
Special Correspondent The Hindu
Caption:T. Pattabhirama Rao, First Additional Special Judge for CBI, was suspended after the evidence was found that he allegedly received money to grant bail to Gali Janardhan Reddy, in the illegal mining case.
Former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, who allegedly bribed the CBI Judge
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Saturday registered a case against T. Pattabhirama Rao, First Additional Special Judge for CBI cases, and six others in the cash-for-bail scam in Andhra Pradesh.
The Judge was ordered to be suspended by the then Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Madan B. Lokur after the CBI unearthed evidence that he allegedly received money to grant bail to former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, in the case relating to illegal mining by the Obulapuram Mining Company.
It was alleged that Mr. Pattibhirama Rao was paid Rs. 2.87 crore by Mr. Janardhan Reddy’s aides. The followers and relatives of the mining baron had initially bargained with the Judge for payment of Rs. 5 crore for granting bail to four persons but a deal was finally struck for payment of Rs. 10 crore. As per the deal, Mr. Janardhan Reddy, his brother-in-law B. V. Srinivas Reddy, suspended IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi and former Director of Mines V. D. Rajagopal were to be granted bail.
The CBI recovered a portion of the bribe amount from lockers of a nationalised bank in Hyderabad. After preliminary investigations it handed over the case to the ACB on Friday.
The anti-corruption agency also registered cases against two BJP MLAs from Karnataka, Gali Somasekhara Reddy, brother of the former Minister, and Suresh Babu, former judicial officer of Andhra Pradesh T. V. Chalapathi Rao, Mr. Pattibharama Rao’s son Ravichandra, Yadagiri, a rowdy-sheeter and Dasharath Ram Reddy. They have been charged under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
HYDERABAD, June 2, 2012 The Hindu
Suspended A.P. judge may be arrested for bail scam
The Judge of a CBI court here, T. Pattabhirama Rao, who was suspended by the High Court on Thursday, and his son, are likely to be arrested in the cash-for-bail episode involving mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scandal.
The suspension order against Mr. Rao was slapped on Thursday after a meeting of the collegium of High Court judges, presided over by Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur, with a rider that he should not leave the city till the completion of inquiry against him. The CBI, which has taken up a parallel inquiry is likely to register an FIR against him, his son and five others to prosecute them with the permission of the High Court.
Sources said Mr. Rao had demanded Rs.15 crore for the grant of bail to Mr. Janardhan Reddy in the OMC case in which he was arrested by the CBI at Bellary on September 5. The relatives and followers of Mr. Janardhan Reddy initially bargained with Mr. Rao for payment of Rs.5 crore but a deal was finally struck for Rs.10 crore. An advance of Rs.3 crore was delivered to Mr. Rao before the judgment was delivered on May 11 and the balance was to be paid later. A portion of the amount was said to have been recovered by the CBI from two lockers of a nationalised bank in the name of his son at Ashok Nagar here. It was said that a Minister from Rayalaseema region, who is a relative of Mr. Janardhan Reddy and a retired district judge from Guntur, played a key role in the mediation with the suspended judge. The retired judicial officer and a rowdy-sheeter of Nacharam here, Yadagiri, were part of the team that approached Mr. Pattabhirama Rao. Both were said to have been questioned by the CBI sleuths four days ago after they got wind of the scam.
Mr. Pattabhirama Rao had granted bail to Mr. Janardhan Reddy when the case was transferred to him as the Principal Court presided by A. Pullaiah was closed for summer vacation. The bail was given on May 11 on furnishing a personal bond for Rs.5 lakh and two sureties of similar sum, though a similar request of Y. Srilakshmi, IAS officer suspended in the illegal mining case, was rejected.
Incidentally, Mr. Janardhan Reddy’s brother and Bellary MLA G. Somasekhara Reddy and his followers were present in the court hall from morning till 5 p.m. on the day when the bail was granted. But the bonds could be furnished only on the next working day, May 14, the last working day for Mr. Pattabhirama Rao. What raised the suspicion of the CBI authorities was that the MLA came to the court carrying a huge amount of cash on May 11.
Hyderabad, June 13, 2012 The Hindu
HC quashes ‘tainted’ CBI judge’s bail order to Janardhan Reddy
The Hindu Former minister of Karnataka and owner of Obulapuram Mining Company coming out of Chanchalguda Central prison to CBI courts in Hyderabad. A file picture : G. Ramakrishna
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday set aside suspended Special CBI judge T Pattabhirama Rao’s order granting conditional bail, allegedly for a bribe, to former Karnataka minister and accused in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scam, Gali Janardhan Reddy.
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 OMC case.
Following CBI’s appeal expressing apprehensions that Mr. Reddy could influence and threaten the witnesses and tamper with the evidences, the High Court on May 23 had cancelled Mr. Reddy’s bail.
The high court on May 31 suspended Mr. Rao amid allegations of illegal gratification and corruption against him. The judge was accused of granting bail to Reddy for a bribe.
While setting aside the bail orders issued by Mr. Rao, the high court on Wednesday said that Mr. Reddy has the liberty to approach the lower court (special CBI court) again to seek bail.
On a tip off that a deal has been struck between Mr. Reddy and the judge, the central agency recovered a cash of nearly Rs 1. 80 crore from a bank locker here, the keys of which were allegedly in possession of Mr. Rao’s son.
The matter was subsequently referred to the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which on Saturday last registered a case against Mr. Rao and seven others under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Mr. Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy, who is managing director of the OMC, were arrested on September 5, 2011 from Bellary in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad. The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Reddys and three others in December last.
Mr. 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.
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 Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Saturday began arresting the accused in the cash-for-bail scam involving mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy by picking up a retired district judge T.V. Chalapathi Rao and the son of the suspended judge of a CBI court here T. Pattabhirama Rao.
Chalapathi Rao and Pattabhirama Rao’s son Ravichandra were arrested following raids on their houses at Ashoknagar and Banjara Hills here respectively from the early hours.
A team of officials was said to have whisked away Ravichandra in their car to a branch of Corporation Bank at Ashoknagar after searching his house. He was issued five lockers in the bank a day before Janardhan Reddy was granted bail by Pattabhirama Rao. Both the arrested persons were later taken away for questioning.
A press release said raids were also conducted on the houses of Chalapathi Rao’s brothers – T.S.T. Saibabu and T. Srinivas Rao – in Hyderabad and Chilakaluripet in Guntur district respectively. The house of an advocate here E. Uma Maheshwar Rao, who argued the bail petition of the mining baron was searched too. His junior T. Aditya was one of the eight accused persons in the case.
A senior ACB official told The Hindu that only incriminating material but not cash was recovered in the five locations that were raided.
The CBI which initially investigated the case collected Rs. 1.60 crore from the lockers of Ravichandra and Rs. 1.14 crore from Balaji Rao, another brother of Chalapathi Rao.
It was rumoured during the day that an ACB team had left for Bellary in search of Janardhan Reddy’s brother Somasekhar Reddy and Kampli MLA T.H. Suresh Babu. But, both of them participated in their programmes in Bellary and Bangalore respectively.
As the enquiry into the cash-for-bail scam involving the former Karnataka Minister, Gali Janardhan Reddy, entered a crucial phase with the arrest of the retired judge, T.V. Chalapathi Rao, and another person, the big question before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is whether the accused had a larger design than merely securing the bail in a lower court since it served no purpose.
It was in this context, informed sources said, that ACB officials raided the house of a lawyer who argued for bail for Mr. Reddy to enquire what the accused were up to. Incidentally, the lawyer’s junior was also an accused in the case.
The ACB has laid emphasis on Mr. Reddy’s brother and Bellary MLA Somasekhar Reddy telling accused P. Yadagiri that the balance amount for grant of bail would be released only after the judgment of the High Court since the CBI had gone in appeal to the higher judiciary.
The conversation of Mr. Somasekhar Reddy with Mr. Yadagiri, which was also recorded in the FIR registered by the ACB, assumed significance in the backdrop of another reported remark of the latter that he learnt about payment of money to Mr. Rao by Mr. Somasekhar Reddy and others to influence a judge by name Sharma. However, Mr. Yadagiri was quoted as saying that he was not aware of the details of Mr. Sharma.
The sources said the deal to ensure bail for Mr. Janardhan Reddy was struck for a whopping Rs. 20 crore, of which half the amount was reportedly paid as advance and the balance was promised to be remitted when the entire matter was clinched. However, the CBI, which sprung into action soon after the judge of CBI court, T. Pattabhirama Rao, delivered the judgment, recovered only Rs. 2.74 crore. A large portion of the remaining amount was suspected to be with one of the accused who recently purchased a Swiss car but denied receiving money.
They added that the actions of the accused were suspect from the beginning as they sought the transfer of the bail petition to a court other than the one presided by Mr. Pattabhirama Rao. As the transfer application was rejected, they approached the High Court seeking review but withdrew their request after it was partially heard.
He was charged with criminal conspiracy in granting bail to Gali Janardhan Reddy
Suspended CBI Special Court judge T. Pattabhi Rama Rao was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Tuesday in connection with the bail scam involving the former Karnataka Minister, Gali Janardhan Reddy.
He was remanded in 15 days judicial custody by Principal Special Judge for ACB & Special Police Establishment (SPE) cases S Jagannadham and ordered to be sent to the Charlapally jail.
Mr. Rao was picked up from his residence here early in the morning and was shifted to the ACB headquarters at Mozamjahi Market. Thearrest was announced by the ACB around 2 p.m.
He was produced before the judge after the customary medical check-up at the Osmania Hospital. After studying the medical report, the judge ordered that it be verified by the medical officer at Charlapally to decide whether he required any special medical treatment. Mr. Rao did not seek bail, his advocates on record said.
Based on a CBI complaint, the ACB registered a case against Mr. Rao and seven others on June 9 and took up investigation for offences such as criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct in granting bail to Mr. Reddy.
After conducting searches at various places, the ACB arrested the retired judge, T.V. Chalapathi Rao, and Mr. Rama Rao’s son Talluri Ravi Chandra. Both were remanded in judicial custody.
The ACB, in its FIR, said a deal was struck between Mr. Reddy and others, including the judge, for granting bail to the former Minister in the illegal mining case.
The CBI had recovered Rs. 1.60 crore in cash from bank lockers belonging to Mr. Rama Rao and another Rs. 1.14 crore from the possession of T. Balaji Rao, brother of Mr. Chalapathi Rao.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended Mr. Rama Rao on May 31.
He was to have retired in February but was given a two-year extension by the High Court.
As ACB Judge, he granted bail by taking a bribe of Rs. 10 lakh, reveals Chalapathi Rao
Retired district judge T.V. Chalapathi Rao who is arrested in the cash-for-bail scam involving former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy has confessed to police that his friend T. Pattabhirama Rao had granted bail to a police officer M. Sarveshwar Reddy also in the past for a bribe of Rs. 10 lakh.
The confession report of Chalapathi Rao was submitted to court at the expiry of his five day police custody up to Friday which was given to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for questioning in the bail scam.
Incidentally, the police custody of Pattabhirama Rao ended on Saturday. Both of them and the latter’s son Ravichandra were confronted by ACB as part of their interrogation on Friday.
The report quoted Chalapathi Rao as saying that Pattabhirama Rao granted bail to Sarveshwar Reddy, then Officer on Special Duty of Ranga Reddy district, on December 13 last year.
Reddy was arrested by ACB in an assets case and later booked for some other charges. Pattabhirama Rao was at that time the judge of an ACB court.
The deal was mediated by Yadagiri Rao who is also accused in the bail scam of Janardhan Reddy. He was paid Rs. 1 lakh.
In the bail for Janardhan Reddy, Chalapathi Rao maintained that the deal was struck for Rs. 10 crore. Yadagiri Rao, who was the mediator again, offered to pay Rs. 5 crore in advance but delivered only Rs. 3 crore at the former’s residence on the night the bail was granted.
The remaining amount was promised to be given after the final disposal of the bail application in High Court.
The money was stashed in five lockers of a bank and the keys handed over to Ravichandra.
The report added that Chalapathi Rao and Yadagiri Rao communicated with each other using five different cell phone numbers each. Pattabhirama Rao spoke from two numbers throughout the deal.
Yadagiri confesses to receiving Rs. 9.5 crore for ensuring bail to Gali Janardhan Reddy
P. Yadagiri Rao, a rowdy sheeter and a key mediator in the cash-for-bail scam involving mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, was arrested by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) at Aaram Ghar junction on the city outskirts on Monday and interrogated for several hours. A sum of Rs.3.75 crore was seized from his house at Nacharam.
He is the fourth out of eight accused persons to be arrested in the case so far. The others are suspended judge T. Pattabhirama Rao, his son Ravichandra and retired judge T.V. Chalapathi Rao. The agency is yet to lay its hands on Bellary MLA G. Somashekhar Reddy, his relative G. Dashrathram Reddy, Kampli MLA T.H. Suresh Babu and a junior advocate T. Aditya.
A press release of ACB Director General B. Prasada Rao said the rowdy sheeter confessed to receiving Rs.9.5 crore from Somashekhar Reddy and others as advance for ensuring bail to the former Karnataka Minister. Out of this, he paid Rs.3 crore to Chalapathi Rao on the night of May 11 when the bail was granted.
He purchased a plot and a house for Rs.60 lakh at Nacharam and a Maruti Swift car at Secunderabad for Rs.8.10 lakh.
As the interrogation of Chalapathi Rao and Ravichandra in police custody disclosed recently, Yadagiri Rao played a key role in securing bail for Janardhan Reddy in the Obulapuram Mining Company scam and a police officer earlier.
He introduced Somasekhar Reddy to Chalapathi Rao who was a friend of Pattabhirama Rao, judge of the CBI court that granted bail to the mining baron.
Chalapathi Rao deposited Rs.1.60 crore out of Rs.3 crore that he received from Yadagiri Rao in the bank lockers of the son of the suspended judge Ravichandra and retained the remaining amount with himself.
He had given Rs.10 lakh to Pattabhirama Rao for the bail to Sarveshwar Reddy in December last year.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday arrested two district judges – K. Lakshminarasimha Rao and D. Prabhakar Rao – in connection with the ongoing investigation into the bail scam involving former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.
They were produced in the principal court for ACB cases late in the afternoon and shifted to Charlapally central prison on judicial remand till July 26.
With this, three serving judges and a retired judge, as also three others, have been arrested in the scam so far. The arrest of Lakshminarasimha Rao and Prabhakar Rao manifests the emerging evidence in the probe as their names did not figure among the accused in the First Information Report (FIR). Their role was detected by ACB sleuths on the basis of confession by Ravichandra, son of suspended CBI Judge T. Pattabhirama Rao, who granted bail to the mining baron on May 11.
The two judges had made parallel attempts to secure bail for Janardhan Reddy at the instance of a city-based real estate dealer Ravi Suryaprakash Babu. On the one hand, retired judge T.V. Chalapathi Rao struck a deal with Pattabhirama Rao to get the bail for Rs. 5 crore, while on the other Lakshminarasimha Rao roped in Prabhakar Rao with the same objective for Rs. 10 crore. However, Pattabhirama Rao favoured the offer of Chalapathi Rao as it was less risky in the absence of any conditions.
Incidentally, Janardhan Reddy’s team comprising his brother Somashekhar Reddy, their relative Dasharathram Reddy and Kampli MLA T.H. Suresh Babu adopted an identical strategy to access the judges. They involved a rowdy sheeter P. Yadagiri Rao to mediate on their behalf with Chalapathi Rao in one stream and Ravi Suryaprakash Babu to mediate with Lakshminarasimha Rao in the other. Both, Yadagiri and Babu have also been arrested.
Investigation disclosed that Janardhan Reddy arranged to pay Rs. 5 crore each to Pattabhirama Rao, Chalapathi Rao and Yadagiri and kept in reserve an equal sum to manage the case in High Court.
While Lakshminarasimha Rao was the Chief Judge for small causes court at the city civil courts complex here, Prabhakar Rao was the Judge, Family Court-cum-III Additional District and Sessions Judge, Srikakulam.
K. Lakshmi Narasimha Rao, a judge who was arrested in the bail scam involving former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, said he was shocked when an offer of Rs.100 crore came his way for securing Janardhan Reddy’s bail.
The offer of Rs.100 crore from Dashrathram Reddy, a relative of Janardhan Reddy, was sounded to Narasimha Rao by two of his friends, the latter confessed to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The confession report was submitted to court subsequently.
On the promise of the staggering amount, Narasimha Rao decided to pursue bail for Janardhan Reddy at any cost and invited to his house the judge of CBI court B. Nagamaruti Sarma who was dealing with the case. Mr. Sarma, however, did not entertain the request and walked out.
Later, Narasimha Rao went after T. Pattabhirama Rao to grant bail to Janardhan Reddy following the transfer of Sarma.
A real estate dealer, Ravi Suryaprakash Babu and another arrested judge, D. Prabhakar Rao, who acted as conduits in the deal offered Rs.15 crore to Pattabhi but he too was reluctant as they laid down a condition that he meet the relatives of Janardhan Reddy to instil confidence in them.
Hyderabad, June 1, 2012, (IANS)