Cash-for-bail case: ACB arrests suspended judge
Pattabhirama Rao, who was earlier picked up from his residence here this morning and questioned by a team of ACB officials at their office, is the third person to be arrested in the cash-for-bail case, in which the agency has already arrested retired Judge P V Chalapathi Rao and Pattabhirama Rao`s son T Ravi Chandra on last Saturday. Confirming the arrest of the suspended judge, ACB Director General B Prasada Rao told PTI, "He (Pattabhirama Rao) has been arrested and is being produced before a court for judicial remand."
The ACB had registered a case on June 9 against Pattabhirama Rao and seven others under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act in the cash-for-bail scandal. The case was first cracked by CBI after Pattabhirama Rao, who was additional special judge for CBI court, granted bail to Janardhan Reddy while rejecting the bail plea of suspended IAS officer Y Srilakshmi in connection with OMC scam.
Amid allegations of illegal gratification and corruption against Pattabhirama Rao, the Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended him on May 31 while transferring the case to ACB which registered a case against him and seven others, including Chalapathi Rao and Janardhan Reddy`s elder brother and Bellary city MLA Gali Somashekhar Reddy. On a tip-off that a deal was struck between Janardhan Reddy and the judge and others, the CBI had recovered nearly Rs 1.60 crore cash from five lockers here, the keys of which were allegedly in possession of Pattabhirama`s son Ravi Chandra.
CBI had also seized Rs 1.14 crore from the possession of T Balaji Rao, brother of Chalapathi Rao. In its complaint to ACB, the CBI had earlier said that Somashekhar Reddy, G Dasaratha Ram Reddy, Suresh Babu, an advocate T Aditya and Chalapathi Rao and Pattabhirama Rao and others had allegedly entered into a conspiracy for showing official favour and granting bail to Janardhan Reddy. The CBI had handed over documents pertaining to the matter to ACB including mobile and land phone numbers allegedly used during finalisation of the alleged deal and duration of conversations.