Hyderabad: Often it was said that corruption does exist in the lower judiciary, and it was proved recently with the suspension of Andhra Pradesh trial court judge Judge Pattabhi Rama Rao, who had allegedly received a whopping of bribe to the tune of Rs 6 crore to grant bail to the rich, mighty and influential mining baron of the state Janardhan Reddy.

Judge Pattabhi Rama Rao now faces immediate arrest after the Andhra Pradesh High Court gave sanction to the CBI to prosecute him.
Judge Rama Rao, a judge in the Andhra Pradesh trial court, has been allegedly caught in a bribery scandal involving mining accused and former Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy.

Reddy, who is lodged in the Chanchalguda central jail in Andhra Pradesh, following his alleged involvement in the mining scam, reportedly struck a deal with the judge for bail.

Sources said that the exact deal amount remained a mystery but it is believed to be anywhere between Rs 5 crore and Rs 15 crore. The judge allegedly demanded Rs 15 crore but the deal was finally struck for Rs 10 crore.

The judge allegedly received Rs 3 crore as advance before granting bail to Reddy May 11 in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) case. The CBI on Friday recovered part of the amount from bank lockers belonging to the judge's son. Theprobe agency, which grew suspicious of the judge's action, started investigations after a go-ahead from High Court Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur.

The investigators tapped the judge's phone and questioned him, his son and others. The chief justice was informed of the preliminary investigations and, based on this, he suspended the judge late Thursday.

Reddy's family allegedly approached the judge through Yadagiri, a rowdy sheeter of Nacharam area in Hyderabad, who then got in touch with a retired judge. A state minister is also suspected to have helped in the deal. Reddy's brother and Karnataka legislator G. Somasekhara Reddy allegedly met the middlemen in a hotel in Hyderabad to finally strike the deal.

The accused's brother allegedly handed over the money, brought from Bellary town in Karnataka.Despite Rama Rao granting the bail, the mining baron remained in Bangalore jail, where he is lodged in another illegal mining case. On a petition by the CBI, the high court later stayed the bail. The mining baron was arrested by the CBI from Bellary September 5 last year in a case of illegal mining in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Reddy was the Tourism Minister in the first BJP government in Karnataka headed by BS Yeddyurappa, who is also facing a CBI probe into charges that his family took kickbacks from two mining firms.

JPN/ Agencies

Latest news on India News Desk