Investigations have revealed that there is more to the alleged deal between former Karnataka minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy and suspended special Central Bureau of Investigation court judge T Patthabi Rama Rao.
The initial round of investigations show that the total amount involved in this transaction amounted to nearly Rs 60 crore. According to an investigator, Reddy was to pay Rs 10 crore to the judge, but as a first installment, just Rs 5 crore was paid and the same was seized by the CBI.
Investigations also show that a former Andhra Pradesh minister allegedly approached the judge and persuaded him to grant bail to Reddy.
Reddy was arrested by the CBI first for his role in the Obulapuram Mining Company scam. It has been alleged that Reddy obtained a licence for this company to mine in Andhra Pradesh but used the same to mine illegally in Karnataka as well.
A couple of months after this case was probed, the CBI booked him in cases pertaining to Karnataka. After his questioning was complete in Andhra, he was brought down to the Bangalore jail.
Reddy moved the Andhra court for bail, which was granted. He immediately moved the Karnataka court as well. However, after his bail, the CBI immediately moved the Andhra Pradesh high court which stayed the order of the CBI court.
In addition to this, the CBI also told the AP high court about the cash seizure from the judge's house, and added that there were conversations to indicate that there was something fishy. The HC placed the judge under suspension and also ordered his prosecution after an investigation.
The investigations so far make it clear that there were others involved in the scam. The names of former ministers, members of legislative assembly and a journalist have cropped up.
Investigators say that Reddy planned on investing a total of Rs 60 crore for this operation and wanted to ensure that he walked free. It is also alleged that they tried to approach the judge in Bengaluru as well to ensure his bail, but that did not materialise.
The CBI believes that the money has already been distributed and is currently trying to locate the rest of it. An investigator said that they will be questioning some of his family members and associates in Bellary in Karnataka.