The Telangana High Court on Monday handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) the case relating to the alleged attempt to poach four legislators of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
A bench of Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy entrusted the investigation in the sensational case to the central agency after hearing the petitions of the accused who argued that they have no faith in the investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the state government.
The court order is seen as a jolt to the BRS government in the state and is likely to further heat up the already surcharged political atmosphere in the state.
The judge quashed the Government Order (GO) issued by the state government constituting the SIT to probe the case.
The court, however, dismissed the petition of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a CBI probe on the ground that it is a third party as the case is between the state and the accused.
The high court had dismissed the petition for CBI probe in November. However, accused Ramachandra Bharati, K. Nanda Kumar and D.P.S.K.V. N. Simhayaji had moved the Supreme Court, which then directed the high court to decide on the petitions seeking transfer of probe to the CBI.
The three accused were arrested by Cyberabad police from a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on the night of October 26 when they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of BRS with offers of huge money.
Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohith Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others to make them defect to the BJP.
The state government had subsequently constituted SIT headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand to probe the case.
BJP General Secretary B.L. Santhosh, Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) President Tushar Vellapally and a doctor from Kerala, Jaggu Swamy, lawyers Srinivas and Pratap Goud and Nanda Kumar’s wife Chitralekha were also summoned by the SIT for questioning.
Santhosh, Vellapally, and Jaggu Swamy had approached the high court and secured a stay on the notices.
The high court on December 1 granted conditional bail to the accused.
However, Ramachandra Bharati and Nanda Kumar were re-arrested by the police soon after their release from jail on December 8 in connection with other cases registered against them.
While Ramachandra Bharati was booked for holding multiple passports, Aadhaar cards and other documents, five cases were registered against Nanda Kumar for cheating and other offences.