Poachgate case: SIT seeks suspension of ACB court order rejecting memo against B L Santosh & other accused

Poachgate case: SIT seeks suspension of ACB court order rejecting memo against B L Santosh & other accused

Hyderabad: The ACP of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the TRS MLAs' poaching case, on Wednesday filed a lunch motion...

Hyderabad: The ACP of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the TRS MLAs' poaching case, on Wednesday filed a lunch motion petition (criminal revision case) in the Telangana High Court seeking suspension of the orders of the First Additional Special Judge for Trial of SPE & ACB Cases, Nampally, rejecting the memo filed by SIT arraying, Bommara Bettu Laxmi Janardhan Santosh, Tushar Velapally, Kottilil Narayanan Jaggu @ Jaggu Swamy and Bhusarapu Srinivas as A-4 to A-7 in crime no. 455/2022 registered by the Moinabad police.

On Tuesday the judge had rejected the memo filed by the SIT, which is being challenged now before the HC single bench headed by Justice D. Nagarjun.

As the case arguments commenced, N Ramchander Rao, former MLC (BJP) and senior counsel appearing for Srinivas took strong objection to the court hearing the case on the ground that copies of the criminal revision case were not served to him, though he argued for Srinivas in the ACB Court.

Annoyed, Rao informed the court that the SIT moved the lunch motion petition in haste, without even serving copy to him, thereby depriving Srinivas the opportunity to note the contents. "This is violation of principles of natural justice". He maintained that without issuing notice to Srinivas how can the case be adjudicated, that too when the case matter is before the HC.

Justice Nagarjun consented to the submission of the counsel and said when the SIT has filed a memo the accused should be put on notice.

Advocate-General Banda Shivananda Prasad, arguing for SIT, said the order of the ACB judge does not stand for a moment because there is an apparent illegality. The order requires to be suspended / quashed immediately at the threshold itself. He submitted that the entire issue pertaining to the poaching case is before the HC and the Supreme Court.

"When the matter stood thus, how can the ACB court reject the memo filed by the SIT",. AG in a high tone, argued before the court. "The ACB court magistrate has no power to reject the memo. The magistrate can exercise such a power, when the final report is filed in the case, not at this stage". He pleaded that the court suspend the ACB court order on an urgent basis as passage of every single day will prove crucial for SIT to investigate the case." Any delay hampers the investigation", Prasad averred.

Pratap Reddy, Public Prosecutor, told the court that the accused

4 to 7 don't have an audience at all before the court because, it is a matter of investigation. During the course of investigation, it is the prerogative of the police to come to the conclusion as to who should be arrayed as accused. The memo filed before the ACB court was in detail explaining the entire case. Each minute detail of the investigation is being entered in the case diary, he submitted.

Justice Nagarjun directed issuance of notice to the accused and the AG to serve copies of the criminal revision case on all parties. He adjourned the hearing to December 8.

Court hears BJP petitions

On Thursday the HC single bench headed by Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy heard a batch of writ petitions filed by the accused and BJP Telangana unit, represented by its general secretary Premender Reddy seeking a CBI probe into the poaching case.

Uday Holla, senior counsel from Bengaluru, appearing for Srinivas informed the court that in 2014, 23 MLAs from other political parties switched to TRS and in 2018, 10 MLAs of other parties joined TRS. "Now TRS accuses BJP of poaching its MLAs.

If TRS points one figure at BJP, then four fingers are pointed at TRS", he said.

He informed the court that the SIT chief ( Commissioner of Police Hyderabad) has resorted to tapping of phone of none other than the Governor, which issue went viral in the media channels. "Yet TRS speaks of fair investigation".

"How can there be a fair investigation when top officials of the Police department resort to such things. There is absolute lack of credibility in the investigation by SIT. Hence, the investigation of the case should be entrusted to some other agency, even a private detective agency or CBI for a fair and unbiased investigation", Holla submitted.

Justice Vijaysen Reddy questioned Holla as to what is the prejudice caused to his client if the entire poaching episode has been telecast live by TV channels. Dushyant Dave, senior counsel for the State, had already tendered an unconditional apology to court and CM of the state.

Holla, while replying, said the Supreme Court says in criminal matters there should be no media trial.

Justice Reddy queried J Ramchandra Rao, Additional A-G that as to who gave the entire material evidence to the media. Immediately, after the CM's press meet, within no time, the entire material evidence collected from the Moinabad farmhouse was featured in media.

As the judge asked this question to AAG, Holla and other counsels vehemently argued that the police had laid the trap, recorded everything (audio, videos and call records) and later sent it to the media and the CM.

Ramchandra Rao, while replying to the judge, said the complainant (MLA Rohit Reddy) might have given the material to the media. "I am told that Rohit Reddy has given the material to the CM and the media", he said. Further, AAG said all the counsels on record were also served the material evidence. The SIT has not given the material to the CM and the media… the media has wrongly reported this aspect", he said. The SIT has given a press note stating that it has not given the material to the Media and the CM.

The senior counsels appearing for the other accused and Premender Reddy will conclude their arguments on December 9. On Friday between 2.30 and 3.30 pm Mahesh Jethmalani, senior counsel for Nandu Kumar, Swamiji and another accused will put forth his argument through video conference, as he is in Delhi in view of Parliament session. The case hearing was adjourned to December 9.

HC permitsTeenmaar Mallanna to go ahead with 'padayatra' in Bhadradri- Kothagudem from December 11

On Wednesday the HC single bench headed by Justice Vijaysen Reddy heard the plea filed by Chintapandu Naveen Kumar @ Teenmaar Mallanna, journalist, by way of lunch motion, challenging the order of SP Bhadradri Kothagudem rejecting permission for his padayatra.

Justice Reddy permitted Mallanna to go ahead with the padayatra from December 11 onwards, imposing certain conditions. The padayatra should comprise not more than 100 persons, no speeches by any person pertaining to Podu land cultivation, no speech regarding GuthiKoya community and none in the padayatra should speak on the issue of recent death of the Forest Range Officer in Satthupally. The padayatra must pass through only main roads, and should not enter agency areas or pass through the forest. The march will be in a peaceful manner. No provocative speeches by Mallanna. The padayatra must pass without raising any slogans. The court gave the police liberty if any breakdown of law or law and order problems arise to act as per law.

Show Full Article
Print Article
Next Story
More Stories