MLA poaching case: TS HC asks SIT to resend notice to BJP leader Santosh via e-mail, WhatsApp

Advocate General insisted the Court direct SIT to issue another notice to BL Santosh as he had not complied with procedures under Section 41A CrPC.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  24 Nov 2022 2:41 AM GMT
MLA poaching case: TS HC asks SIT to resend notice to BJP leader Santosh via e-mail, WhatsApp

Telangana High Court has directed SIT to serve another notice to BJP National General Secretary (Org) BL Santosh via e-mail and WhatsApp in the MLA poaching case.

Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy directed the SIT to issue a notice under Section 41 A CrPC. The Court also asked Advocate General Banda Shivananda Prasad to file counter affidavits in the main writ petition and all interim applications (IAs) filed by all such persons who have been issued notices by SIT.

Advocate General Banda Shivananda Prasad reiterated his arguments that BL Santosh should be directed to appear before the SIT. He went a step ahead and pleaded that the immunity granted to BL Santosh from arrest should be removed. The request was declined by the Court, however.

The Court said BL Santosh had responded to the notice and sought some more time to appear before the SIT citing his hectic political activity. "Noticee should be given sufficient time to appear" Justice Reddy observed.

Advocate General insisted the Court direct SIT to issue another notice to BL Santosh as he had not complied with procedures under Section 41A CrPC.

Additional Advocate General J. Ramchandra Rao took a strong objection to the orders passed by the division bench, which directed the single judge to monitor the investigation. Such an order has not been set aside by the Supreme Court, he added.

Ramchandra Rao pleaded before the Judge to modify the order insulating BL Santosh from arrest. Despite such protection, Santosh has not appeared.

At one point in time, Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy turned towards Vaidyanathan Chidambaresh, counsel for Telangana BJP, and asked him when Santosh will appear before the SIT.

Vaidyanathan Chidambaresh urged the Court to issue directions to the SIT to grant ample time to Santosh because he is a prominent leader and is busy with his political activity.

Chidambaresh said that the Notice issued to B.L. Santosh should not be suffocating

After hearing all the parties, Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy directed SIT to issue a second notice and adjourned the matter to November 30.

Earlier Ramchander Rao informed the court that BL Santosh is delaying his appearance before SIT with a malicious intention to destroy electronic evidence, which is a very crucial aspect of the investigation.

"What if BL Santosh destroys data in his cell Phone", he said. "It will be of no use, if BL Santosh appears before SIT leisurely, after the destruction of pivotal evidence. If that be so, the main purpose of SIT will be defeated."

N. Ramchander Rao, senior counsel appearing for BJP refuted the contentions of AG and Additional AG. He informed the court that the bonafide of BL Santosh cannot be doubted.

Later, senior Supreme Court advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appeared for accused Ramachandra Bharathi alias Satish Sharma, K. Nandu Kumar, and Simhayaji Swami.

Mahesh apprised the Court about four weeks timeline set by the Supreme Court for Telangana High Court to adjudicate the matter.

When Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy asked Mahesh whether the three accused had applied for bail, the senior counsel said they will file the petition before the High Court on November 24.

Mahesh brought to the notice of the court the observation of the Supreme Court that the orders of the Chief Justice Bench are not sustainable in law.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V. Bhaskar Reddy had directed Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy to monitor the entire investigation of SIT. The SIT was directed to submit the progress of the investigation to the single-judge bench and not divulge details of the case to anyone.

He said when the Supreme Court set aside the orders of the division bench, this Court should pass orders to the state to constitute a fresh Special Investigation Team monitored by the Judge or handing over the investigation to CBI.

He said the accused have contended that they do not have any faith in the SIT constituted by the state government as they apprehend there will not be a fair investigation.

Intervening, Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy asked whether he can monitor the case himself.

Mahesh said that the Judge can monitor the investigation till the charge sheet is filed. To buttress his contention, Mahesh said he can place numerous judgments delivered by Constitutional Benches of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Bhusarapu Srinivas, counsel for one of the accused, filed an interim application in the court of Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy alleging that SIT is harassing him to appear before it.

Justice Reddy directed Bhusarapu Srinivas to appear before the SIT on November 25.

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