SIT not allowed to name Santosh accused in ‘Poachgate’

Deccan Chronicle.  | Pinto Deepak

Nation, Current Affairs

File photo of B.L. Santosh

HYDERABAD: The SIT probing the alleged attempt to poach TRS MLAs suffered a setback as the ACB court rejected its appeal to name BJP general secretary B.L. Santosh, besides three others, as accused in the case.

Sources said that the court dismissed a memo filed by the SIT a week ago, and that the probe team will now move the High Court to challenge the order.

The SIT sought to name Santosh, Tushar Velapally, Jaggu Swamy alias Jaggu Kottilil of Kerala and Karimnagar-based advocate Busarapu Srinivas as accused, in addition to the trio — Ramachandra Bharati, Kore Nanda Kumar and D.P.S.K.V.N. Simhayaji — who have recently secured bail.

Dismissing the memo filed by Rajendranagar ACP B. Gangadhar, the SIT investigating officer, the ACB court said: “The law and order police or the SIT, which is not a special police establishment, is not a competent authority to investigate the case. Therefore, on this ground, the request to array the proposed accused cannot be considered.”

SIT officials said that they would move the High Court, seeking a revision on the ACB court’s order dismissing the memo.

I. Rama Rao, counsel for the accused, said that earlier the High Court had also stayed the order and now the ACB court had rejected it. “If the SIT has to go for a revision of the same, they cannot do that as this is not a judicial order. Article 20 also comes in the way which says that they cannot be prosecuted twice,” he said.

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