Retired judge questioned in AP's cash-for-bail scam

Hyderabad, Jun 16: A retired district judge and son of a suspended CBI court judge were questioned by the Anti- Corruption Bureau today in connection with the cash-for-bail scandal after the agency raided their residences here, ACB officials said.

Retired district judge T V Chalapathi Rao and suspended Special CBI judge T Pattabhirama Rao's son Ravichandra were being questioned after ACB sleuths undertook searches at their residences in Judge's quarters and Ashok Nagar here, they said.

Asked if they would be taken into custody, ACB Director General B Prasada Rao told PTI, "They are being examined. We will let you know if anybody is arrested."

Pattabhirama, who had last month granted conditional bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, a key accused in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scam, allegedly for a bribe, was suspended by the Andhra Pradesh High Court amid allegations of illegal gratification and corruption against him.

Pattabhirama and Chalapathi were classmates at A C College of Law in Guntur and the latter allegedly brokered the multi-crore bribe. An ACB team was simultaneously carrying out searches at Guntur over the allegation that Reddy's brother Somashekhara also played a role in "brokering the bribe deal," sources said.

The High Court, subsequently set aside Pattabhirama's bail orders. On a tip off that a deal has been struck between Reddy and the judge, the CBI had earlier recovered a cash of nearly Rs 1.80 crore from a bank locker here, the keys of which were allegedly in Ravichandra's possession.

The matter was subsequently referred to the state ACB which registered a case against Pattabhirama and seven others under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.


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