TRS MLAs' poaching case: High Court grants bail to Ramachandra Bharathi, Simhayaji, Nandu Kumar

Sr Advocate L Ravichander, who appeared on behalf of Nandu Kumar, moved the bail petition

MLAs poaching case

HYDERABAD: Ramachandra Bharathi, Simhayaji and K Nandu Kumar have been granted conditional bail in the TRS MLAs' poaching case by the Telangana High Court.

Sr Advocate L Ravichander, who appeared on behalf of Nandu Kumar, moved the bail petition, which was opposed "tooth and nail" by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the case. Ravichander told NewsTAP that the trio was asked to appear before the SIT every Monday between 10.30 am and 12 noon. Each one will have to submit a surety of Rs. 3 lakh for the bail.

The three were arrested by Cyberabad police, consequent upon a sting operation, under the aegis of Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra on October 26. Though the police filed a case in the Anti-Corruption Bureau court, the judge rejected their remand and set them free. Meanwhile, the police recovered their mobile phones and took out call data, as the sting operation involved sensitive high-end cameras and recorders to capture the scenes. The police also recovered chats and other forms of communication between the accused persons and many influential and powerful people.

The Telangana Government had constituted an SIT under the leadership of Commissioner of Hyderabad City Police C V Anand with Nalgonda SP Rema Rajeswari, Shamshabad DCP R Jagadish Reddy, DCP (crimes) Kalmeshwar Shingenavar, Narayanapet SP N Venkateshwarlu , Rajendranagar ACP B GAngadhar, and Moinabad SHO Lakshmi Reddy as its members.

After the SIT moved the High Court, which allowed the petition, the three accused were taken into custody on October 29. They were remanded to judicial custody. The court allowed them for police custody for two days. Though the SIT sought custody again for five more days, the court disallowed the plea.

Reams and reams of information was culled out from the accused persons' phones by the SIT and was analysed. The interrogation was conducted based on the data collected from them.

The SIT filed fresh charges against important persons like BJP General Secretary B L Santhosh, and also advocates Bhusarapu Srinivas, Prathap Goud and local BJP leader Vijaykumar Munjagalla. The police issued notices to Thushar Vellapally of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) who had unsuccessfully contested against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The SIT issued lookout notices to Jaggu Swamy of Matha Amrutanandamayi Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).

The High Court had stayed the notices served to B L Santhosh. However, the court asked Thushar Vellapally to appear before the SIT and directed the SIT not to arrest him.

The MLAs' poaching case created a sensation across India with Telangana Chief Minister and TRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao aka KCR coming up with the videos of the sting operation before full public glare through a press conference. The same were sent to all political parties, Chief Justice of Supreme Court and also chief justices of High Courts.

KCR dubbed the bid to poach MLAs as an attempt to derail democracy by the BJP. Such operations by the BJP-led Union Government, using its agencies like Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation, Income Tax Department and many others, to resort to coercive practices and threaten the non-BJP State Governments and leaders of opposition parties who were turning out be hard nuts to crack, as a disgrace to democracy.

The three accused were put behind bars for 33 days.

The sting operation had generated a lot of heat. The trio had first contacted Tandur MLA Pilot Rohit Reddy, and explained the plan of action. Growing jittery about the operation, a cagey Rohit Reddy had alerted the top echelons of the TRS. The top bosses of the TRS explained to him about the sting operation and had let him talk to Kollapur MLA Beeram Harshavardhan Reddy, Achempet MLA Guvvala Balaraju and Pinapaka MLA Rega Kantha Rao, who were also in the BJP radar.

Upon precisely planning the entire exercise, including fixing mikes and cameras in the Moinabad Farm house of Pilot Rohit Reddy, the sting operation was carried out, stunning the accused only three hours after a goody-goody conversation about the next steps and how they could join the BJP in the presence of its president J P Nadda at a public meeting on the eve of the byelection to Munugode Assembly seat. The BJP had planned to poach the four MLAs to morally debilitate the rank and file of the TRS and create confusion among the voters to win the seat.

The accused persons had explained to the MLAs the role and importance of B L Santhosh in the BJP hierarchy and also used the words "No.1 and No.2" implying Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah respectively only to communicate to their subjects that this operation had the endorsement of the BJP headquarters.

The investigation revealed several startling facts. Now, the case is likely to take multiple turns with the accused persons emerging out of the prison. It has yet to be known what were the complete conditions of the bail on whether the accused must stay only in Hyderabad or could travel.

Next Story

Similar Posts