The stage is set for the Central Bureau of Investigation to arrest suspended special CBI court judge T Patthabi Rama Rao on the charges of taking bribe for granting bail to mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Jana Reddy, the prime accused in the illegal mining case.
During its investigations against the tainted judge, the CBI has searched the bank locker of his son and recovered an amount of Rs 3 crore. It was looking for the remaining Rs 7 crore, as the agency suspect that an amount of Rs 10 crore changed hands in the deal.
The CBI has also unearthed many other details of the sordid affair including the role of a minister from Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, a former judge and a goon in arranging the deal under which the judge was paid an amount of Rs 3 crore as advance.
The remaining Rs 7 crore were handed over to him after the bail was granted to Gali on May 12.
The CBI sources said that they have also asked banks to freeze the accounts of the kin of Patthabi Rama Rao to stop them from withdrawing the cash. The CBI sources said that they were keeping an eye on the banks ever since the judge had granted the bail to Gali Janardhan Reddy in the Obulamuram mining case.
In this case Gali Janardhan Reddy was arrested by the CBI on September 5 last year on the charges of illegal mining of iron ore in Anantapur district and exporting it to other countries.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Justice M L Lokur had put the judge under suspension on Thursday after receiving the complaint from the CBI. The chief justice also ordered the legal department to conduct its own probe against the judge. He asked the judge not to leave Hyderabad without permission.
The CBI has unearthed this scandal at a time when another CBI special court headed by Principal Judge A P Ullaiah was hearing the bail petition of YSR Congress president and Kadapa MP Jaganmohan Reddy. The responsibility of Patthabi Rama Rao, the first additional judge of CBI, has also been handed over to Pullaiah.
Meanwhile, main opposition Telugu Desam Party has expressed its deep concern that a mafia led by Jaganmohan Reddy and Gali Janardhan Reddy had tried to take its grip over even the judiciary.
"They have tried to purchase even the judiciary. They pose a very grave threat to the democratic institutions in the country", said TDP MP Nama Nageshwar Rao.
"It is deeply shocking that these people have polluted even a noble institution like judiciary on which the people of this country have immense faith and confidence. Many scams have come to light because of the judiciary but these people have tried to corrupt even the judiciary", he said.