Telangana High Court stays SIT notice issued to Santosh till Dec 5

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Justice K. Surendar of the Telangana High Court on Friday evening stayed the notice under Section 41A Cr P C issued to BJP national general secretary (org) B L Santosh by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the poaching case of TRS MLAs.

Hyderabad: Justice K. Surendar of the Telangana High Court on Friday evening stayed the notice under Section 41A Cr P C issued to BJP national general secretary (org) B L Santosh by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the poaching case of TRS MLAs.

The judge in his orders said "prima facie, this court finds the requirements mentioned in the notice under Section 41A Cr PC issued to Santosh is missing in the two notices issued to him.

This court feels appropriate to stay issuance of notice dated November 23 till next date of hearing, December 5".

He said "the requirements under Section 41A Cr PC are complete when the investigating agency cites in its petition that on reasonable grounds / complaint is made against the noticee. There is reasonable suspicion against the noticee, credible information against him is received to summon". In the absence of the above requirement, the notice cannot be issued, Justice Surendar said.

He was dealing with the criminal petition filed by Santosh by way of lunch motion seeking a direction to quash the notice issued to him by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Desai Prakash Reddy, senior counsel, appearing for Santosh, while arguing the case contended that the two notices dated November 16 and 23 lack such basic requirements. Hence, they are liable to be quashed. He informed the court that Santosh is no where listed as accused in the case; there is no complaint against him nor there is any credible information against him in possession of SIT. In the absence of such basic requirements as mandated under Section 41A Cr PC, the notice is liable to be quashed.

Reddy took strong objection to contention of Advocate-General Banda Shivananda Prasad in his arguments that Santosh is desperate to wriggle out of the case, as SIT is in possession of voluminous material and crucial information which is enough to nail him in the case.

The AG said there is clear evidence that the accused Ramachandra Bharati, Nandu and another have made numerous calls to Santosh to lure the four TRS MLAs into the BJP.

Reddy told the court that the SIT notices were issued with non- application of mind as they don't mention any suspicion, credible information against him and any complaint against. Santosh. Then how can the A-General use such harsh words against at this stage.

Prasad appearing for SIT said it is in possession of voluminous and incriminating evidence against Santosh and his presence before SIT is very much essential to elicit crucial information in the case. "He is a suspect and is evading appearance before SIT despite a shielding given by the single judge order, which insulated him from getting arrested, once he appears before the SIT.

The AG argued that due to non-appearance of Santosh before SIT, the investigation is hampered and that in the interregnum there is every possibilityof evidence getting destroyed.

Though he agreed that the FIR registered by the Moinabad police does not list name of Santosh, his role is quite crucial in the case as he played a pivotal role in the MLAs poaching. He has hatched a conspiracy against the Telangana government to dethrone it by luring its MLAs into BJP.

The AG referred to the recent Supreme Court order directing SIT to go ahead with the investigation stating that the investigation into such cases cannot be scuttled. Non-appearance of Santosh before SIT will put the investigation in jeopardy.

Hearing in the case was adjourned to December 5

Raids on Malla Reddy: HC stays FIR against IT official

Justice K Surender of the Telangana High Court on Friday evening stayed all further proceedings in FIR no.03/2022, dated November 24, registered by the Bowenpally police against Ratnakar, Deputy Director, Income Tax (Investigation) unit, till four weeks.

The judge was hearing a lunch motion criminal petition filed by Ratnakar seeking a stay on the FIR. The petitioner contended that as a part of his official duty he went to the house of Labour Minister Ch Malla Reddy. In the interregnum, Reddy's son Dr Bhadra Reddy, representing his brother Mahendar Reddy, lodged a police complaint alleging that the IT sleuths forced him to sign the statement prepared by officers.

T Surya Karan Reddy arguing for Ratnakar told the court that Section 134 of the Income Tax Act empowers the IT officer to record statements and such a recording of statements do not fall under the preview of Section 383 of IPC. Section 293 of the IT Act bars any prosecution against the IT officer in discharge of official function.

Justice Surendar, after recording the contention of the Assistant Solicitor-General stayed the FIR and adjourned the criminal petition for further hearing after four weeks.

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