Bengaluru: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday November 23 asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing MLAs’ poaching case to issue fresh notice to BJP general secretary B.L. Santosh.
Justice B. Vijayasen Reddy asked the SIT to serve the notice through email and WhatsApp. He, however, dismissed the plea by the state to lift the stay on the top BJP functionary’s arrest.
The SIT has also been directed to file a status report on the investigation on November 29. The next hearing will take place on November 30.
The SIT submitted to the court that Santosh is not cooperating in the investigation by not appearing before it.
The BJP leader was already served notice under Section 41A of Criminal Procedure Code. He was directed to appear before SIT on November 21. He, however, stayed away.
The SIT approached the court and sought direction to Santosh to appear for questioning. The court felt that it is the responsibility of the BJP leader who had earlier filed a petition to stay the notice served on Santosh to ensure that he makes himself available to the SIT.
The High Court on November 19 had turned down the request of petitioner to stay the notice issued to Santosh.
The judge, however, made it clear that Santosh should not be arrested as the SIT had already issued notice to him under Section 41A of Criminal Procedure Code. The judge observed that Santosh should not apprehend his arrest and asked him to comply with the conditions imposed in the SIT notice.
The high court had also heard an application filed by the Telangana government seeking instruction to Delhi police commissioner to cooperate with the SIT in serving notice to Santosh. The judge ordered that notice should be served to the top BJP functionary without any further delay.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the SIT informed the court that Santosh was served notice through Delhi police.
Santosh’s name figured in the conversation between three alleged BJP agents arrested by the police last month while trying to lure four MLAs of TRS to the BJP fold with an offer of huge money.
The SIT had summoned Santosh and three others on November 21. Only Bhusarapu Srinivas, a lawyer from Karimnagar, appeared before SIT on Monday and Tuesday.
The SIT on Tuesday issued a lookout notice for Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) president Tushar Vellapally and a doctor from Kerala, Jaggu Swamy as the probe team failed to locate their whereabouts. Circulars were also issued to prevent them from leaving the country.
The SIT on Wednesday served notice on two more persons. Pratap Goud, a lawyer from Amberpet area of Hyderabad, and Chitralekha, wife of Nanda Kumar, one of the three accused in the case, have been summoned for questioning.
Ramachandra Bharati a.k.a. Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nanda Kumar were arrested by the 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 TRS with offers of huge money.
Cyberabad police conducted the raid on a tip-off by Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the MLAs. He alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.
The accused were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.