Telangana poachgate: SIT challenges ACB court order in HC

Hyderabad: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana police probing MLAs’ poaching case on Wednesday approached the Telangana High Court challenging an order of ACB special court rejecting a memo to array BJP national general secretary B.L. Santhosh and three others as accused.

The High Court took up the hearing of the petition filed by the SIT challenging the lower court’s order.

Advocate General B.S. Prasad argued that the ACB court crossed its limits with the order rejecting the memo. He submitted to the court that the SIT decided to add Santhosh, Tushar Vellapally, Jaggu Swamy and B. Srinivas as accused in the case on the basis of evidence found against them during the course of investigation.

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The High Court directed the Advocate General to serve notice to lawyers of the accused and adjourned the hearing to Thursday.

The ACB special court had rejected the memo saying neither law and order police nor SIT is competent to investigate the offences relating to the Prevention of Corruption Act and only the Special Police Establishment Anti-Corruption Bureau is the competent authority to do so.

Three alleged agents of the BJP were arrested by the Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of TRS with offers of huge money.

Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.

The accused were booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 171B r/w 171E (bribery), 506 r/w 34 (criminal intimidation) section 8 of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The SIT headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner C. V. Anand had served notices to Santhosh, NDA convenor in Kerala Tushar Vellapally, Kerala-based doctor Jaggu Swamy and lawyer B. Srinivas for questioning.

Of them, only Srinivas appeared before the SIT while others approached the High Court and obtained stay.

The names of Santhosh, Tushar and others figured in the conversation between the alleged BJP agents and the TRS MLAs.

The High Court on December 1 granted bail to three accused in the case.

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