The arrest of Karnataka MLA, Suresh Babu in connection with the cash for bail scam involving mining baron, Janardhan Reddy has opened up the can of worms further. After being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, he told the agency that his relative, B Sriramulu was in the know of things. Now the CBI is looking to question the former BJP MLA from Bellary, B Sriramulu in connection with this case.
Suresh Babu during his question told the CBI that the entire deal was struck for Rs 20 crore only. The deal was struck in order to obtain bail for Gali Janardhan Reddy who has been in jail for his alleged role in the illegal mining scam involving several 100 crores of rupees. Babu said that right from day one, Sriramulu was in the loop about the entire deal. I discussed the matter with Sriramulu and he did advise me as to how to go about the deal.
Babu says that the deal was agreed for Rs 20 crore, but an amount of Rs 9.5 crore was paid at the end of it. He says that they would have paid the entire money, but wanted to await the verdict of the High Court before they could make the rest of the transaction. Somashekara Reddy, brother of Janardhan Reddy is the one who raised the money and also paid the amount. However he had made it clear that the rest of the money apart from the Rs 9.5 crore which was already paid would be cleared only once the High Court verdict was out. The Special CBI court granted bail after which we paid Rs 9.5 crore, but then the CBI decided to challenge this before the High Court and also filed strong objections against the bail which made us hold back the rest of the amount.
Babu also claims that at the time this deal was being discussed, they had met with Janardhan Reddy too at jail several times. He was also in the know of the matter and it was often discussed with him as to how we were planning on going about this matter.
Babu also gives a break up of the amount and states that Rs 5 crore was given to Yadgir Rao who was the middle man between them and the Judge, Pattabhi Rama. It was also decided that a relative of theirs Dasharath Reddy who helped in this deal would get Rs 5 crore. The judges son, Ravindra was to get another Rs 5 crore while the rest of the Rs 5 crore was towards court charges. However at the end of it Rs 9.5 crore was paid to Yadgir Rao who in turn distributed the money.
The confession by Babu match what Yadgir Rao had told the CBI. However Babu has roped in Sriramulu into the case. Sriramulu had a falling out with the BJP and formed his own party and even won the Bellary by-elections. With the name of Sriramulu now in the picture, the CBI would look to question him and find out the extent of his participation in this deal.
The CBI has been tallying the statements given by Pattabhi Rama, Yadgir Rao and also Babu and find it to be similar in nature as a result of which they believe they have a water tight case on them.
Rao had detailed the transaction during his interrogation. He too had said that the amount agreed upon was Rs 20 crore. He also speaks about the various meetings he held with Somashekara Reddy and also Suresh Babu at the time the deal was struck. He also said that Reddy handed over Rs 9.5 crore and had assured that the rest of the money would be handed over once they would get a favourable order from the Andhra Pradesh High Court. However even as the High Court rejected the bail plea by Janardhan Reddy, the CBI launched its investigation into this case.
The Anti Corruption Bureau of the CBI had summoned both Babu and Somashekara Reddy in connection with case. CBI sources say that they would next question Somashekara Reddy and then it would be the turn of B Sriramulu.