Saturday, June 2, 2012

CBI judge in Hyderabad suspended on Rs.5 crore bribe charge

Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice Madan B Lokur has suspended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special judge on corruption charges and ordered an inquiry against him, officials here said. First Additional CBI Judge T Pattabhi Ramarao allegedly received Rs5 crore for granting bail to former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy, the key accused in Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) illegal mining case. Ramarao had granted bail to Reddy May 12. The mining baron, however, remained in Bangalore jail in another illegal mining case. The high court chief justice took action against the judge Thursday after the CBI lodged a complaint with him, according to officials. The CBI reportedly found that the bribe money was stashed in bank lockers of the judge’s kin. The investigating agency has asked the concerned banks not to allow the judge or his kin access to the lockers. The high court has asked the suspended judge not to leave Hyderabad without informing it.The chief justice also ordered a probe by the legal department and the anti-corruption cell CBI Court Principal Judge A. Pullaiah has been given additional charge of the first additional CBI judge .Ramarao granted bail to Janardhana Reddy while presiding over the second additional CBI court in the absence of the regular judge. There was only one CBI court in Hyderabad till last month. Three additional courts were formed to deal with the increasing number of cases. Justice B. Nagamurthi Sharma, who was the judge of the special CBI court, was appointed second additional CBI judge. The OMC case was transferred to CBI principal court. However, Janardhana Reddy requested that since Nagamurthi Sharma had been hearing the case all along, the case be transferred to him. As Sharma was on leave, Ramarao heard Reddy’s bail plea and granted him the bail. The mining baron was arrested by the CBI on September 5 last year in a case of illegal mining by his Obulapuram Mining Company in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. He was lodged in Chanchalguda Central Jail, Hyderabad, but was last month shifted to Bangalore in connection with another case.

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