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MLAs’ poaching case: Telangana HC refuses to hear interim petition

Hyderabad, Feb 8 (IANS) The Telangana High Court on Wednesday declined to hear an interim petition by the Telangana government seeking suspension of the single judge’s order to transfer the investigation into the MLAs poaching case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The state government had sought a stay on December 26, 2022 order for three weeks facilitating it to move the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan made it clear that since the matter was heard and disposed of by the division bench, it can’t be taken up again by the court and that the order can be challenged only in the Supreme Court.

Advocate General B. S. Prasad brought to the notice of the Chief Justice that the CBI is pressurising for case file. He submitted that the CBI wrote to the Chief Secretary again on Tuesday for case file.

The Advocate General approached the Chief Justice for permission a day after Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy made the suggestion when the interim petition came up before him on Tuesday.

It was on December 26 that Vijaysen Reddy had pronounced his order, handing over the case to the CBI. He had also quashed the Government Order (GO) constituting Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case relating to the alleged attempt to poach four legislators of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

The single judge had 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.

The judge had also observed that the media should not have been given access to investigation material. He also noted that the state has not responded to the question who provided the Chief Minister with investigative materials.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji on February 6 dismissed the petition of the state government challenging the order of the single judge transferring the case to the CBI.

The division bench ruled that the single judge bench’s order can’t be faulted and interfered with.

The three accused were arrested by Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26, 2022 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of BRS 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 to make them “defect to BJP”.

The state government had subsequently constituted SIT headed by Hyderabad police commissioner C. V. Anand to probe the case.