The arrest of Karnataka legislator Suresh Babu in connection with the cash for bail scam involving mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy has now turned focus on BJP MLA from Bellary, B Sriramulu.
After being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, Babu told the agency that his relative Sriramulu was in the know of things and even advised on how to go about making the deal.
Babu, during his interrogation, told the CBI that the entire deal was struck for Rs 20 crore. The deal was struck to obtain bail for Janardhan Reddy, who has been in jail for his alleged role in the illegal mining scam involving several 100 crores of rupees.
Babu says that though the deal was agreed for Rs 20 crore, but only an amount of Rs 9.5 crore was paid at the end of it.
He says that they would have paid the entire money, but wanted to wait for the high court verdict before they could make the rest of the transaction.
Somashekara Reddy, brother of Janardhan Reddy, is the one who raised and paid the money. However, he had made it clear that the rest of the money apart from the Rs 9.5 crore, which was already paid, would be cleared only once the high court verdict was out.
The Special CBI court granted bail after which we paid Rs 9.5 crore, but then the CBI decided to challenge this before the high court and also filed strong objections against the bail, which made us hold back the rest of the amount, Babu said.
Babu also gives a break up of the amount and states that Rs 5 crore was given to Yadgir Rao, who was allegedly the middle man between them and Judge Pattabhi Rama.
It was also decided that a relative of theirs, Dasharath Reddy who helped in this deal would get Rs 5 crore.
The judge's son, Ravindra was to get another Rs 5 crore while the rest of the Rs 5 crore was towards court charges.
However, at the end of it only Rs 9.5 crore was paid to Yadgir Rao who in turn distributed the money.
The confession by Babu matches with what Yadgir Rao had told the CBI.
However, Babu has roped in Sriramulu into the case.
Sriramulu had a falling out with the BJP and formed his own party and even won the Bellary by-elections. With the name of Sriramulu now in the picture, the CBI would look to question him and find out the extent of his participation in this deal.
The CBI has been tallying the statements given by Pattabhi Rama, Yadgir Rao and also Babu and find it to be similar in nature as a result of which they believe they have a water tight case on them.
Rao had detailed the transaction during his interrogation. He too had said that the amount agreed upon was Rs 20 crore.
He also speaks about the various meetings he held with Somashekara Reddy and also Suresh Babu at the time the deal was struck.