The Telangana high court has ordered a stay until December 5 on the basis of the notification to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary BL Santosh in the MLA poaching case.
Through the warrant issued under Section 41-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the matter had asked the senior BJP leader to appear on November 26 or 28. appear for questioning. The BJP leader then moved the court to quash the order, stating that it did not specify the grounds on which he was summoned.
Notices under 41A are issued when the arrest of a person is not required, but there is reasonable suspicion against said person. Sr. Counsel Prakash Reddy, appearing on Santosh’s behalf, said police failed to mention certain vital details in the warrant.
This was the second injunction against BL Santosh in the MLA poaching case. The first message was issued on November 16, asking him to appear on November 21. The BJP leader had stayed away due to election work. The court then asked the SIT to give him more time to appear and authorized a second injunction.
Three individuals – Ramachandra Bharati aka Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nanda Kumar – were arrested by Cyberabad police in October from a farm in Moinabad after allegedly trying to lure four leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to the BJP. The arrest came after a raid based on a tip from TRS leader Pilot Rohit Reddy. He claimed that while he was offered Rs 100 crore to join the saffron party, three others were promised Rs 50 crore each.
After the arrests, audio recordings of the alleged conversations between the suspects circulated on the Internet, allegedly mentioning Santosh’s name.
Apart from the BJP leader, two other persons – Pratap Goud, a lawyer from Hyderabad, and Chitralekha, wife of the main defendant, Nanda Kumar – were also summoned to appear at the final hearing.
Prior to this, notices had been given to three other persons: Dr. Jaggu Swamy, Tushar Vellapally (President of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena) and A Srinivas (a lawyer who is said to be a distant relative of Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar). So far only Srinivas has appeared before the SIT.
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