Telangana HC directs SIT to issue notice to BJP leader in TRS MLAs ‘poaching’ case

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the Special Investigation Team probing the alleged attempt to poach TRS MLAs, to again serve notice on BJP leader B L Santhosh, who is yet to appear before the SIT.

Earlier, the Telangana SIT had issued notices to BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) Santhosh and others to appear before it for questioning on November 21. However, they did not turn up before the probe panel.

One advocate, who was also summoned by the SIT, had appeared before it.

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Telangana Advocate General B S Prasad informed the court that despite the notice being served, Santhosh did not appear before the SIT and that he had sought time (from the panel) on the ground that he had scheduled tour programmes and that he wanted sufficient time without indicating as to the date for appearance.

After hearing the matter, the High Court directed the SIT to again serve fresh notice under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to Santhosh giving reasonable time to appear before the investigation team.

Hearing a petition filed by the Telangana unit of BJP seeking stay of the notice issued by the SIT to Santhosh, the court on November 19 said the BJP leader shall cooperate with the investigating authorities, while directing that he should not be arrested until further orders.

The court posted the matter to November 29.

A complaint was lodged by TRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy, among four legislators, against three persons — Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy — on October 26.

As per the FIR copy, Rohith Reddy alleged that the accused offered him Rs 100 crore and in return the legislator had to leave the TRS and contest as a BJP candidate in the next Assembly election.

The Telangana government on November 9 ordered the setting up of a seven-member SIT to probe into the alleged poaching of the MLAs.

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