Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Sunday quizzed for the third straight day Bellary MLA Gali Somashekhar Reddy, an accused in the cash-for-bail scandal involving his brother and jailed former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.
Somashekhar Reddy, accused of “playing a key role in bribing” suspended judge T Pattabhirama Rao in granting bail to mining baron Janardhan Reddy, was earlier summoned by the ACB along with BJP’s Kampli MLA T H Suresh Babu (already been arrested in the case), to appear before it as part of the investigation.
“After being served a notice I appeared before the ACB here on Friday. I was examined yesterday also and they asked me to come again on Sunday. I am cooperating with them (agency) and replied to their queries,” Somashekhar Reddy told media, before entering the ACB office. In its complaint to ACB, the CBI had earlier said that Somashekhar Reddy, Suresh Babu, Dasaratha Ram Reddy (Gali’s relative), advocate T Aditya, retired judges
T V Chalapathi Rao, Pattabhirama Rao and others had allegedly entered into a conspiracy for showing official favour and granting bail to Janardhan Reddy and thus committed criminal conduct.
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.
The ACB has so far arrested three serving judges, including Pattabhirama Rao, besides seven others in the case. Meanwhile, a CBI court at the weekend extended till September 7 the judicial custody of former minister and mining baron G Janardhana Reddy and four others arrested in the illegal mining case of Associated Mining Corporation owned by him.
Judge B M Angadi extended the custody after they were produced before the court through video conferencing from Parappana Agrahara jail where they are lodged. Reddy’s wife, Aruna Lakshmi, who is on bail, was present in the court. Meanwhile, Mehfuz Ali Khan, Reddy’s personal aide, who is also an accused in the case, filed an application seeking bail for a second time, along with a copy of the High Court order dated July 24.
Counsel for Mehfuz Ali Khan said Ramzan was fast approaching and his client has a five-month old child. As per religious tenets, the child has to spend his first Ramzan along with his parents and therefore his client be granted bail, he submitted.
The court then posted his bail application to August 8 for the CBI to file its objections. On July 24, the CBI Court had rejected the bail applications of Deputy Conservator of Forest A C Muthaiah and S P Raju, accused in the case, on the ground that there was “sufficient material to show their active involvement in the illegal mining of AMC”. Reddy was arrested along with Khan in September 2011 by CBI.