Telangana HC transfers Poachgate case to CBI, quashes SIT probe

At the request of Advocate General BS Prasad, the court put a pause on the implementation of the order by not revealing the complete judgment to enable it to move a division bench.

Published: 27th December 2022 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2022 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

Telangana High Court

Telangana High Court

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  In what has come as a shot in the arm for the BJP, the Telangana High Court on Monday ordered the transfer of the BRS MLAs’ Poachgate case to the CBI. The High Court also quashed GO. 62 under which a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted by the BRS-led State government to probe the case.

The court by transferring the case to the CBI, ipso facto, rendered infructuous the notices issued to BJP general Secretary BL Santhosh and others to appear before it on which the HC had issued a stay order till December 30 as also the lookout notices, issued for Kerala doctor Jaggu Swamy and BDJS president Thushar Vellapally.

But, for the BRS, entrusting the case to the CBI is a serious setback in exposing the BJP. It means that the State government would not have any control over the case. In other words, till now the State government was the hunter while the BJP was the hunted. It is to be seen if the roles would reverse from now on. At the request of Advocate General BS Prasad, the court put a pause on the implementation of the order by not revealing the complete judgment to enable it to move a division bench.

Justice B Vijaysen Reddy pronounced the order on the petitions filed by the accused priest Ramchandra Bharati, pontiff Simhayaji, and restaurant owner Nandu Kumar that they did not have faith in the SIT investigation.

Though BJP leader T Premender Reddy’s petition is similar to that of the three accused — Ramchandra Bharati, Simhayaji and Nandu Kumar, as he also sought a CBI investigation, it was not allowed because the BJP is a third party in a dispute between the State and the defendants.         

Media shouldn’t have been given probe material : HC

The court stated that, at least initially, the State has not responded to the question of who provided the Chief Minister with investigative materials. Nobody has revealed who gave the CM access to the video records of the trap sessions. The media and press should not have been given access to investigation material. The suspected poaching of MLAs is unquestionably a serious crime, even though the early inquiry has revealed important papers. Making inquiry materials available to the public would make the accused worry about a fair and objective probe. Proof of actual prejudice is not necessary.

There is good reason to suspect a biased, tainted, and unjust probe, it said. The court went on to say that the problem must be seen from the perspective of the accused to determine if any bias has been created or not. In addition to a fair trial, the right to an inquiry is one that the accused is given by the constitution under Articles 20 and 21. The accused suffered bias as a result of occurrences and events being made public.

Ramachandra Bharati, Nandu Kumar and Simhayaji were arrested in a Moinabad farmhouse on October 26. They were charged with trying to lure four BRS (then TRS) MLAs to the BJP. It was alleged that the trio offered Rs 100 crore to BRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy and Rs 50 crore to three other pink party MLAs to the BJP.


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