SC grants interim stay in trial of cash-for vote scam; issues notices to ACB, Revanth Reddy

The interim stay, is in regard to a plea filed by TPCC president and prime accused, A Revanth Reddy and accused 5 in the case, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah. Earlier, the two filed a plea before the special court hearing the ACB case, to delete the charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act against them.

By Coreena Suares  Published on  25 Aug 2021 4:45 PM GMT
SC grants interim stay in trial of cash-for vote scam; issues notices to ACB, Revanth Reddy

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court has granted an 'interim stay' in the on-going trial of the controversial cash-for-vote-scam. The top court on 25th August 2021, issued notices to the petitioner, namely Congress MP A Revanth Reddy and respondent, i.e Additional Superintendent of Police – Anti Corruption Bureau Telangana (investigating wing), to file their counters by the 7th of September.

The interim stay, is in regard to a plea filed by TPCC president and prime accused, A Revanth Reddy and accused 5 in the case, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah. Earlier, the two filed a plea before the special court hearing the ACB case, to delete the charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act against them.

'Their contention before the ACB court in the said application was that the said offences under the PC Act are not applicable to his case. But, the ACB court dismissed the plea. Against the ACB court order, MP Revanth Reddy filed an appeal before the High Court-Telangana . However, the High Court upheld the orders of the ACB court and did not grant any relief to the accused. Aggrieved by the order, A1 and A5 filed a special leave petition before the SC", said a source.

"Notice issued and stay granted" read the case status of the Supreme Court, a document in possession with NewsMeter.


The SC directed the ACB and the petitioner to file counters by the 7th of September. With this the trial in the Cash-for-vote scam has been stayed.

Cash-for-vote scam back to 2015 when the ACB had booked the then Kodangal MLA Mr. Revanth, Bishop Harry Sebastian, Rudra Uday Simha, and Mathaiah Jerusalem for bribing TRS-nominated Anglo Indian MLA Elvis Stephenson to vote in favor of the Telugu Desam Party's MLC candidate. On 31 May 2015, the ACB had laid a trap and nabbed Revanth and Simha for allegedly paying Rs. 50 lakh as bribe to the MLA.

ACB issues notices to 20 witnesses

Days after Congress MP from Malkajgiri A. Revanth Reddy was appointed to lead the party in Telangana as the TPCC president, the sensational cash-for-vote case that had nailed the MP in 2015 has once again gathered steam.

The ACB special court, Hyderabad, that is hearing the case has issued summons to 20 witnesses and their examinations are likely to begin from 5 July. The trial was scheduled to begin from 8 March but Mr. Revanth had filed a petition challenging the cross-examination.

A source told NewsMeter, "The accused (referring to Revanth) has been approaching the High Court and Supreme Court with different petitions leading to the delay in cross-examination. Those who were issued the summons include Revanth's drivers, the then TDP candidate Vem Narender Reddy, gunmen, friends of the complainants, and ACB investigating officer."

The chief examination of the prime complainant, TRS MLA Elvis Stephenson, and key witness Malcom Taylor has been completed while the examination of the MLA's daughter Jessica has been dropped as she is not in India.

Why is there a delay in cross-examination?

Revanth had approached the Supreme Court challenging the cross-examination of seven witnesses. The MP had said the trial court had scheduled cross-examination of these seven witnesses on different days which might hamper his defence.

Earlier, Revanth had filed a revised petition in the High Court but the HC did not grant him relief. Following this, the MP had filed an appeal in the SC. However, the top court referred the case back to the HC with instructions to dispose of the petition in a time-bound frame.

How the cash-for-vote scam unfolded?

A year after Telangana was carved out as a new state, the elections for the Legislative Council were held in 2015. By then, the TRS had nominated Elvis Stephenson, the only nominated MLA representing the Anglo-Indian community.

Bishop Harry and Mathias Jerusalem had allegedly approached Elvis Stephenson and offered Rs. 2 crore and a ticket to leave the country or vote in favor of TDP candidate Vem Narender Reddy. Later, Elvis filed a written complaint following which the ACB took up the investigation.

The preliminary investigation had revealed that Bishop Harry and Mathias were part of the TDP Christian cell. Revanth and Elvis met at New Bhoiguda on 30 May 20 15. It was decided that Elvis would abstain from voting or cast his vote in favor of the TDP candidate. A deal was struck for Rs. 5 crore.

Revanth was caught on record saying he was authorized by TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu to negotiate with Elvis. He assured him that if the deal was exposed, Elvis will be accommodated as the Anglo-Indian MLA in AP or given a Christian minority post in the Central government, the ACB said in its charge-sheet.

On 31 May, the ACB laid a trap at Pushpa Nilayam, South Lalaguda, and caught Revanth on camera offering a sum of Rs. 50 lakh to Elvis Stephenson. He further promised to pay the remaining Rs. 4.5 crore after the elections. The ACB sleuths entered the premises while the negotiation was on.

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