MLAs' poaching case: Setback for BJP, BL Santosh as Telangana HC refuses to stay SIT notice

The Telangana High Court rejected a BJP appeal seeking a stay on the notice served on its leader BL Santosh by the SIT in the TRS MLAs' poaching case

BL Santosh

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Saturday rejected a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeal seeking a stay on the notice served on its leader BL Santosh by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is probing the case of alleged attempt to poach four TRS MLAs in to the saffron party. In its interim orders, the High Court however restrained the investigators from arresting BL Santhosh until further directions from it on the matter.

While refusing to grant a stay on the SIT notice, the High Court also directed the Delhi Police to cooperate over the SIT notices in connection with the case. The development in the Telangana High Court came in as a major setback for the BJP and its national secretary at a time when BL Santosh appeared to be pulling all stops to evade the SIT questioning.

The SIT, headed by Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand, reportedly summoned BL Santosh on Friday for questioning in connection with the TRS MLAs' poaching case. The investigating team intends to grill the BJP leader on his alleged involvement in the sensational poachgate after his name reportedly cropped up several times in the leaked audio and video clips, made public by Telangana Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) recently.

Three deal brokers, allegedly at the behest of some influential leaders in Delhi, have made a failed attempt to poach four TRS MLAs at a farmhouse in Moinabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad. They were arrested in an operation carried out by the Cyberabad Police following a tipoff from TRS MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy, one of the four MLAs allegedly lured to join the BJP fold. The three accused later secured freedom after obtaining bail from a court.

The SIT, constituted to unravel the possible wider net of the conspiracy that, the TRS regime suspects, was aimed at toppling it, served the notice on BL Santosh on Friday asking him to appear before it for questioning on November 21. Issuing the notice under Section 41(A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the SIT further said that the respondent could be arrested if he failed to turn up for questioning.

Wasting no time, a writ petition was filed in the Telangana High Court by the BJP challenging the issuance of the notice. The move sparked the speculation that both the BJP and BL Santosh were leaving no stone unturned to stonewall the investigation by trying to evade the questioning. The SIT action serving the notice followed a high court order earlier allowing it to proceed with its investigation into the case. It however maintained that the case would be monitored by a judge.

The High Court refusing to stay the notice appears to have pushed the BJP and BL Santosh further into the tight spot, given the seriousness attached to the sensational case. It remains to be seen if the national party and its beleaguered leader will exhaust other legal options like going to the Supreme Court on the matter.

It may be recalled that the names of BL Santosh and Tushar from Kerala figured prominently and frequently in the audio and video clips purportedly featuring the conversations of the three accused – Ramachandra Bharathi alias Satish Sharma, Simhayaji and Nanda Kumar – with TRS MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy.

The TRS and its supremo KCR have openly alleged the involvement of BJP and its top leaders in an attempt to bring down their government in Telangana.

Meanwhile, the SIT, investigating the case, also courted controversy over the manner it served its summons in the case. It drew criticism for serving a common notice to all instead of mentioning the individual phone numbers and IMEI numbers.

The SIT's discretion received flak and was called out for being careless, especially given the high-profile nature of the sensational case and the nationwide outrage it caused in the political circles. The State Government has reportedly taken a serious view of this and is likely to take action with regard to this lapse.

Next Story

Similar Posts