HYDERABAD / GUNTUR: Even as the CBI is poised to register a case on the alleged bribe paid to judge T Pattabhirama Rao for granting bail to mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, investigators conducted simultaneous raids at several places across the state Saturday. Sources said the deal struck between the judge and Gali could well be more than the Rs 5 crore as has been reported.
A team of CBI personnel searched the residences of retired judge T Chalapathi Rao and his brother Srinivasa Rao in Guntur and Chilakaluripeta. The retired judge is alleged to have mediated between Pattabhirama Rao and Gali’s aides in the bail-for-bribe deal.
The officials are learnt to have grilled Srinivasa Rao, a stamp vendor, about the assets owned by his brother and reportedly seized documents. Later, they went to the sub-registrar’s office and the SBI to obtain information on the properties owned by Chalapathi Rao and inspect his bank accounts and transactions.
Sources said the officials then visited a real estate venture in which Chalapathi Rao reportedly has a stake and took pictures of the site.
It is learnt that they also questioned the retired judge’s associate Tarakaram, an advocate.
In Nacharam in Hyderabad, a CBI team searched the residence of Yadagiri Rao, an alleged rowdy-sheeter who is said to have brokered the deal.
The CBI is also learnt to have searched the premises of a printing press in Gudivada in Krishna district.
Meanwhile, law minister Erasu Pratap Reddy, whose name has figured in the media for his alleged involvement in the case, made an unsuccessful attempt to meet chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy at the latter’s camp office in Hyderabad.
However, Kiran Kumar had left for Bangalore minutes before the minister reached the office. Speaking to the media, the minister denied involvement in the scam and offered to quit politics if his involvement was proved.