SSC question paper leak case: Bandi Sanjay granted bail

The district court judge reportedly concurred with the arguments of the defence lawyers and granted bail on a surety of Rs 20,000

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WARANGAL: After eight hours of protracted arguments and deliberations, the Hanamkonda District Court on Thursday night granted bail to BJP Telangana President Bandi Sanjay. The district court judge reportedly concurred with the arguments of the defence lawyers and granted bail on a surety of Rs 20,000. The Karimnagar MP was arrested at around 1 am on Wednesday from his in-laws' house in Karimnagar.

With the court granting him bail, Bandi Sanjay is all set to walk free on Friday and attend the obsequies of his mother-in-law, who has passed away recently, in Karimnagar. The bail also enables the MP to participate in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Hyderabad on Saturday.

During the course of the arguments before the Hanamkonda District Court judge, the legal team of Bandi Sanjay kept pressing for a bail to Bandi Sanjay with the rider that the court dismiss their petition in the event of it rejecting the bail plea.

Bandi Sanjay’s lawyers, during the protracted arguments stretching over eight hours, urged the judge of the Hanamkonda district court to dismiss the bail pleas, if a direction could not be given. The advocates appealed to the judge to consider the High Court directions in this regard and give a direction. If no direction could be given, they even offered to withdraw the petition. It’s learnt that the judge said that it was a complicated case and direction would be given, based on sufficient grounds. The petition could not be dismissed just like that.

The petition seeking the custody of Bandi Sanjay by the Warangal police was posted to Monday. The Warangal police filed separate petitions, seeking police custody of Bandi Sanjay and

two other accused (A2 and A3). The police sought three days of custody for Sanjay. They wanted to recover and unlock the phone of Sanjay to verify the conversations and calls.

The Public Prosecutor vehemently opposed the bail, contending that the police were investigating the case and they had yet to recover Sanjay’s mobile phone. While a lot of evidence had to be collected, releasing the MP at this stage would be detrimental to the investigation.

A petition was moved by Bandi Sanjay’s lawyers in the Telangana High Court seeking to quash the cases filed by the Warangal police in the SSC Paper leak case.

Telangana HC refuses to give interim relief

In a setback to the BJP Telangana chief, the High Court refused to give any interim relief to him in the case and posted the matter to Monday for further hearing. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji heard arguments on Thursday on the quash petition, moved as lunch motion, on behalf of Bandi Sanjay against the order of the Hanamkonda court.

The bail request was also mentioned in the quash petition. However, the High Court gave the option of moving a lower court for bail to the advocate of Bandi Sanjay. Accordingly, a bail petition was moved in the Warangal court.

The High Court issued notices to the State Government and the headmaster of the Kamalapur boys high school as the de facto complainant in connection with Bandi Sanjay petition before adjourning it to Monday. Senior advocate N Ramachandra Rao, arguing for the petitioner, contended that the police failed to make a case against Bandi Sanjay in the first place. “The police did not adhere to the guidelines issued in the Arnesh Kumar case when they took Bandi Sanjay around in a police vehicle for over 300 km and moved him from one place to another. The contentions however did not cut much ice with the division bench which eventually did not consider the request of the petitioner’s counsel.

Arguing the police case, Advocate General Banda Shivananda Prasad, cited a phone conversation between the petitioner and the other accused to claim that a big conspiracy was hatched in the form of the question paper leakage to defame the State Government. Bandi Sanjay instigated the other accused to leak the question papers and then circulate them in social media groups so that the State Government could be blamed for the scandal, he said. The AG also pointed to the fact that the petitioner refused to hand over his phone which would establish the truth, he added.

The State BJP president’s advocates mentioned in the court that Sanjay was a Member of Parliament. The petition also mentioned the reasons for seeking a bail. The lawyers drew the attention of the court that Friday happened to be the 10th day of obsequies of the MP’s mother-in-law who has passed away recently. The petition also stated that Sanjay would have to participate in the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (April 8, 2023) to Hyderabad.

The advocates, through the petition, informed the court that the MP would be available for deposition any time in the next three months, hence a conditional bail be granted. Meanwhile, the High Court posted the hearing on the Habeas Corpus petition, filed on Wednesday, also to April 10.

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