Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau, probing the cash-for-bail scam involving jailed former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy, on Tuesday named his close associate and yet another MLA of that state B Sreeramulu, for allegedly playing a role towards securing Reddy's bail.
In its remand report submitted in a court in Hyderabad after arresting BJP's Kampli MLA TH Suresh Babu in the case, the ACB has claimed further investigations had shown that on April 21, Sreeramulu had called up Suresh Babu and informed that one R Suryaprakash Babu of Hyderabad knew some judges and was ready to help in the matter of getting bail to Janardhan Reddy and that he had already asked Suryaprakash to call him.
Sreeramulu, a former BJP legislator, is now an MLA of his own party - BSR Congress.
After some time, Suryaprakash called up Suresh Babu from his mobile phone regarding the deal and informed that he knew a Registrar of Andhra Pradesh High Court who could influence the CBI Judge (T Pattabhirama Rao) in the matter of granting bail to Janardhan Reddy.
Subsequently, on May 3, Suryaprakash again called Suresh Babu, informing him that he was speaking in the presence of judges Laxmi Narsimha Rao and D Prabhakar Rao (also accused in the case and suspended) who could "manage" Pattabhirama Rao.
According to the remand report, Suresh Babu asked Suryaprakash to contact Janardhan Reddy's brother and Bellary city MLA Gali Somashekhar Reddy to discuss the deal and other things directly.
As per the phone call details, Suryaprakash Babu was in constant touch with Suresh Babu between April 21 and May 7, the ACB said.
Later, Somashekhar Reddy struck a deal for Rs 20 crore with one history-sheeter Yadagiri Rao (already arrested), who on May 10, arranged a meeting involving Pattabhirama's son and retired judge TV Chalpathi Rao towards the grant of bail.
Somashekhar Reddy, however, told Yadagiri that he would give Rs 10 crore when the bail is given by the CBI court and the remaining Rs 10 crore after seeing the bail order.
On May 11, Pattabhirama Rao granted bail to Janardhan Reddy while rejecting the bail plea of suspended IAS officer Y Srilakshmi in connection with the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) scam.
On the same day, Somashekhar Reddy and Suresh Babu called up Yadagiri and gave Rs 4.5 crore to him, ACB said in the remand report.
So far, ACB has arrested three serving judges, including Pattabhirama, besides seven others in the case.
Amid allegations of illegal gratification and corruption against Pattabhirama Rao, the Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended him on May 31 while transferring the case to ACB after the case was first cracked by CBI.
Meanwhile, Suresh Babu, who was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days, while being shifted to Cherlapally jail, told the media that he had no connection with this case and that he had not made any confessions before ACB.
"I have nothing to do with this case. I was summoned and appeared before ACB yesterday. I had sought their permission to enable me to attend the ongoing session of Karnataka Assembly. But I was suddenly arrested," Suresh Babu claimed alleging the confession was far from truth.
"I have full faith in the judiciary and why should I be afraid of anyone," he said.