Hyderabad: The special court in Hyderabad to try MLAs and MPs saw its first conviction since it was set up in 2018 after it convicted BJP MLA from Goshamahal Raja Singh. The court sentenced the MLA to one year in prison and imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 against him.

More than 500 cases have been registered against MPs and MLAs across the state and around 245 cases have been transferred to the special court. Earlier an RTI response to the Forum for Good Governance revealed that around 49 legislators involved in 86 criminal cases between 2018 and 2019 have either been acquitted or discharged by the court.

Those acquitted include Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, minister of state for Home G. Kishan Reddy, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay, Himachal Pradesh Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, ministers K.T Rama Rao, T. Harish Rao, Eatala Rajender, and MLC and former MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha.

The special court relied on the strong evidence presented by the prosecution in the form of eyewitness accounts and pronounced the BJP MLA, Raja Singh, guilty on 29 January. Singh was accused of assaulting and threatening a sub-inspector of the Bollaram police station in Hyderabad where he was detained along with a few BJP party workers. The case related to the 'Beef Festival' that was organized in 2015 at the Osmania University by the Joint Action Committee of students of the university.

When Singh attempted to march to the university, he was detained and taken to the Bollaram police station. At the police station, he entered into a heated argument and assaulted the SI, following which a case was registered against him under sections 353 and 509 of the IPC.

During the trial, the prosecution presented before the court the police personnel who were eyewitnesses to the incident and also a few civilians who were the panch witnesses in the case. Throughout the trial, the witnesses stood their ground and deposed clearly before the court about the events that transpired on the day of the incident. Further, they did not deter even during the defence examination.

The Government of Telangana in December 2018 sanctioned the establishment of a special court in Hyderabad for processing cases involving MLAs and MPs.

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