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Cash-for-vote case: Hyderabad HC stays ACB court order against AP CM

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Friday put an interim stay on an ACB court order directing the anti-graft agency to probe allegations against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu with regard to “cash-for- vote” case. Justice Raja Ilango also directed the ACB to file its counter and posted the matter after eight weeks.

Naidu had filed a petition in the HC on Wednesday requesting it to quash the private complaint filed against him by YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy in the “cash-for-vote” case. Ramakrishna Reddy, in his petition, alleged that Chandrababu was also a conspirator in the case and “committed” the offence of offering bribe to a nominated MLA of Telangana.

On August 29, the ACB court had asked the anti-graft agency (ACB) to probe the allegations made in the complaint against Chandrababu Naidu with regard to the cash-for-vote case involving TDP’s Telangana MLA A Revanth Reddy, and submit a report on its investigation in the case on September 29. Naidu also urged the court to quash the order passed by the ACB court.

When contacted, P Sudhakar Reddy, the counsel for the YSR Congress MLA, said that the court has not stayed the overall investigation by the ACB into the case. In May 2015, nominated MLA in Telangana Assembly Elvis Stephenson had lodged a complaint alleging that he was offered Rs 5 crore by Revanth Reddy to vote for Telugu Desam nominee in the election to the Telangana Legislative Council on June1.

On May 31, ACB arrested Revanth Reddy, Bishop Sebastian Harry and Rudra Udaya Simha when they were allegedly handing over an advance sum of Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson. TDP MLA Sandra Venkata Veeraiah was arrested in the case later. All of them were subsequently granted bail.

A charge sheet filed by the ACB on July 27 last year had mentioned TDP chief Naidu’s name, but not as an accused. An audio tape of Naidu’s purported conversation with Stephenson over phone on May 30, a day before the ACB arrested Revanth, found its way to the media.