Telangana poachgate case: State, SIT oppose transfer to CBI

Update: 2023-01-05 18:25 GMT
Telangana High Court. (PTI File Image)

Hyderabad: The state government and poachgate Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Thursday argued before a division bench of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N. Tukaramji, that the orders of the single judge, who had entrusted the probe to the CBI and quashed the police investigation, was a bundle of contradictions.

Dushyant Dave, Supreme Court senior counsel, representing the state government, SIT and the Cyberabad police,  argued for more than two hours. He said the judge had only focused on Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao's press conference and exhibiting videos of the police trapping the poachgate accused.

"Does the leader of a regional party, who has been elected in a democratic way by the people, not have a right to let the people know what is happening to his government," Dave said.

He said the single judge considered that the Chief Minister's press conference had caused prejudice to the accused. Questioning this, Dave asked: “What about the mischief done by the accused? In three-and-a-half hours of video recordings, the accused mentioned what they had come for and the offering of bribes.

"How can the single judge disband the investigation done by the SIT and law and order police of Cyberabad, when the accused did not raise any objections and there is no mismatch in its investigation," dave said.

Gandra Mohan Rao, senior counsel, appearing for BRS legislator P. Rohith Reddy, said the single judge had not taken his version though the case was registered on his complaint. None except one had made Rohith Reddy a respondent. No notice was served on the MLA, Mohan Rao said.

He said, video recording of the trap, which were submitted to the court on the afternoon of November 3, would become public documents and be available in the public domain. The Chief Minister conducted his press conference after that.

Mohan Rao said the accused had threatened that the CBI, ED and other agency would haunt the BRS MLAs if they did not defect. The single judge had transferred the probe to the CBI and the ED had served notice on Rohith Reddy, Mohan Rao said.

D.V. Seetharama Murthy, senior counsel, appeared for the three accused, Ramachandra Bharati, Kore Nandu Kumar and D.P.S.K.P.N. Simhyaji, and that the appeals were not maintainable because the single judge had passed orders on the criminal jurisdiction side as mala fides were alleged in the investigation. An appeal against that order needs to be made in the Supreme Court and not before the division bench.

To this, Dushyant Dave and Mohan Rao said that when the single judge dealt with the petitions under Articles 226 and 227, it was civil in nature not criminal jurisdiction. Dave pointed out that the single judge has opined that prejudice to accused (which is generally violation of Articles 14 and 21), so it should be treated as civil nature.

Seetharama Murthy said he would further submit arguments on Friday. The court adjourned the arguments to Friday afternoon.

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