ED books Revanth Reddy, five others in ‘cash for vote’ scam

The ED registered a case on the basis of the FIR registered by the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against Revanth Reddy and others.

New Delhi:┬áThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a chargesheet against Anumula Revanth Reddy, MP from Malkajgiri parliamentary constituency, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah, Telugu Desam Party MLA from the Sathupally assembly constituency, Bishop Harry Sebastian, Rudra Sivakumar Uday Simha, Mathaiah Jerusalem and Vem Krishna Keerthan in the ‘cash for vote’ scam.

An ED official said that it has filed the chargesheet against six persons before a Special Court in Hyderabad.

The ED registered a case on the basis of the FIR registered by the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) against Reddy and others.

The official said the ACB laid a trap while a bribe payment of Rs 50 lakh in cash was being made to Elvis Stephenson, a nominated MLA representing the Anglo Indian community in the Telangana Assembly to lure him to either abstain from voting or to vote in favour of the TDP candidate, Vem Narendra Reddy, in the MLC (Member of Legislative Council) election, which was to be held on June 1, 2015.

The ACB had arrested the accused, who was caught during their ‘trap proceedings’, and filed a chargesheet after investigation.

The official said the ED had recorded the statements of the accused including that of Reddy, Harry Sebastian, Rudra Uday Simha who were involved in the actual handing over of the bribe amount of Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson.

“They were also confronted with the available audio-visual recordings of the encounters,” he said.

The official said the ED probe established that Reddy, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah and others had conspired to bribe Stephenson for securing his vote in favour of Vem Narender Reddy, a candidate proposed by the Telugu Desam Party in the MLC election.

The financial probe agency official said that the accused had contacted Stephenson and offered him a bribe of Rs 5 crore.

“Stephenson made a complaint to the ACB police and a trap was laid and his encounters with the accused were secretly audio-video recorded,” he said.

The official claimed that the accused persons met the complainant at his house on May 30, 2015 and made the bribe offer.

A day later Reddy, R Harry Sebastian and Rudra Uday Simha came at the house of Malcolm Taylor, a friend of Stephenson to hand over the advance bribe amount of Rs 50 lakh in cash and were trapped by the ACB Police and taken into custody along with the seized cash.

The official said that the cash was handed over to the accused by Vem Krishna Keerthan, son of Vem Narendra Reddy to help his father in the election.

The ED had earlier attached the bribe amount of Rs 50 lakh cash, seized by the Telangana ACB under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

“ED investigation has established that the accused persons committed the scheduled offence as well as the offence of money laundering by dealing with the bribe money which is nothing but proceeds of crime as per PMLA. Thus, ED has filed a prosecution complaint against the above named accused persons with a prayer to hold trial for the offence of money laundering,” he added.

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