The Telangana government led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao suffered a setback as a division bench of the High Court dismissed its plea against an order by a single-judge bench transferring the case of alleged “poaching” of Bharat Rashtra Samiti to the Central Bureau of Investigation and disbanding the Special Investigation Team formed by it.
The division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji, upheld the orders passed by the single judge and dismissed the batch of writ appeals filed by the government and others, on the ground of maintainability, reported PTI.
On December 27, the single-judge bench of the Telangana High Court had transferred the probe into the case to the CBI and ordered that the SIT formed by the government be disbanded. The court also barred the SIT from carrying out any further investigations into the case.
BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh was among four “persons of interest” named by the SIT in the case. However, its bid to name Santhosh as an accused was disallowed by an anti-corruption court.
Three persons, namely Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, K Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swami, were arrested by the Cyberabad Police on October 26 during a raid at a farmhouse in Moinabad, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The police alleged that the trio was affiliated with the BJP and had offered bribes to four BRS MLAs to switch sides.
The police further claimed that BRS MLA from Tandur, P Rohith Reddy, had alerted them that the trio offered him Rs 100 crore to join the BJP. Reddy alleged that the accused had asked him to bring three other BRS MLAs – Rega Kantha Rao, B Harshvardhan Reddy and Guvvala Balaraju – and said they were ready to offer Rs 50 crore to each MLA to join the BJP.
The BJP, however, denied that the three were party members, and filed a petition in the Telangana High Court, demanding that the probe be handed to the CBI. The HC struck down the BJP’s plea on technical grounds but took up similar petitions filed by the three accused. The trio was later granted bail by the High Court.
(With PTI inputs)