Telangana HC Refuses To Quash Case Against Senior Advocate Who Allegedly Took ₹7 Crore To Bribe HC Judges

The Telangana High Court recently declined to dismiss proceedings against Senior Advocate Vedula Venkataramana, who is accused of accepting ₹7 crore from a litigant to bribe High Court judges for a favorable verdict.

Justice K Lakshman decided not to halt the investigation using the Court’s power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC).

The order stated, “While it is true that Respondent No. 3 gave no information about how he obtained Rs. 7,00,00,000/- and when it was paid to the Petitioner, the allegations still are worthy of investigation. The allegations levelled against the Petitioner are grave. The allegation that money was obtained to bribe the judges of this Court casts a serious doubt on the independence of judiciary and implies that justice is up for sale. Such serious allegations need to be investigated.”

Although the Court refused to quash the case against Venkataramana, it granted him protection from arrest, noting his long-standing reputation as a senior lawyer.

“Certain claims made by Respondent No. 3 are highly exaggerated. The conduct of Respondent No. 3 in participation of the illegal act alleged against the Petitioner raises suspicions about his bona fides. Further, nothing in the counter-affidavit indicates that Petitioner’s custodial interrogations is required. This Court is also mindful of the fact that the Petitioner is a senior advocate with long standing.”

Venkataramana had sought to quash the criminal case against him. The complainant claimed he hired Venkataramana for a land dispute case, initially paying ₹30 lakh as a fee, after which the lawyer did not pursue the case.

According to the complainant, Venkataramana demanded ₹7 crore, assuring that the money would be used to bribe High Court judges for a favorable outcome. Venkataramana allegedly mentioned he had bribed judges in the past. The complainant agreed to the payment.

However, Venkataramana failed to appear in the case and refused to return the money when demanded. He also allegedly hurled caste-based abuses and threatened the complainant’s family.

Subsequently, a case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 504 (intentional insult), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Sections 3(2)(va) and 3(1)(r) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was registered against the lawyer.

The Court noted that the allegations of the ₹7 crore payment were exaggerated but found the case worthy of investigation due to the seriousness of the charges. It directed Venkataramana to cooperate with the investigation and dismissed his plea to quash the case.

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About the Author: Meera Verma