Poachgate: Telangana HC tells CBI not to go ahead with probe till it hears State govt appeal

Hearing Praveen Kumar’s arguments, Justice Bhuyan asked the agency to wait until the bench decides the writ appeals against Justice B Vijaysen Reddy’s order asking the CBI to look into the issue.

Published: 07th January 2023 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th January 2023 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

Telangana HC for representational purposes.

Telangana High Court for representational purposes.

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Friday asked the CBI to wait until it completes hearing the writ petitions filed by the State government against the single judge order handing over the BRS MLAs poaching case investigation to the central agency.

The CBI informed the bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji that through Deputy Solicitor General of India Gade Praveen Kumar, that it had sent a letter to the Chief Secretary requesting all relevant material in the poaching case to begin an investigation.

Hearing Praveen Kumar’s arguments, Justice Bhuyan asked the agency to wait until the bench decides the writ appeals against Justice B Vijaysen Reddy’s order asking the CBI to look into the issue.

At this juncture, Advocate-General BS Prasad informed the court that the CBI was pressing the Chief Secretary to turn over the documents related to the case. He also asked the court to issue a directive prohibiting the CBI from taking over the investigation until the writ appeals are decided.

Responding, the Chief Justice clarified that the CBI cannot begin an investigation at this time because the writ appeals were still being heard. Justice Bhuyan then adjourned the batch of writ appeals to January 9 to allow senior counsel Dushyant Dave, representing the State, to present his arguments.

Earlier in the day, DVV Seetharama Murthy, senior counsel representing the three defendants Ramchandra Bharati, Nandu Kumar, and Simhyyaji, cited a number of judgements to support his claim that Justice Vijaysen Reddy had issued orders based on criminal jurisdiction and that an appeal challenging such an order lies before the Supreme Court.

Murthy claimed that the Telangana police meticulously planned the entire scenario of the poaching case. Following the trap, the chief minister was handed over the complete audio and video recordings of the conversation between BRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy and the three accused, Murthy said.

37 switched sides, HC told

He added that the chief minister then held a press conference and sent the recordings to the media and the Supreme Court, branding his clients as suspects before an investigation could begin. Ravichander, senior counsel appearing for another defendant, told the court that a memo submitted by the SIT listing BL Santhosh and three others as accused to the FIR was rejected by the ACB court and an appeal against it was also rejected.

Ravichander argued that since the court had already dismissed the appeal by the SIT, how could the bench hear the writ appeals filed by the State. A list of 37 MLAs from the TDP, INC, BSP, and other parties who switched over to the TRS (now BRS) between 2014 and 2022 was read out by Damodar Reddy, senior counsel representing Telangana BJP general secretary G Premender Reddy.


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