Poachgate: Plea in HC to transfer case to CBI

Deccan Chronicle.  | Vujjini Vamshidhar

Nation, Politics

Telangana High Court. (DC Photo)

Hyderabad: The single judge bench of Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, which was directed by the Supreme Court to decide on the petitions requesting transfer of the Poachgate inquiry to the CBI or a SIT appointed by High Court expeditiously, heard the case for four hours on Tuesday.

Dushyant Dave, senior Supreme Court counsel, appearing for the Telangana government and the SIT, sought the dismissal of the writ petition filed by the BJP-Telangana general secretary T. Premender Reddy and those filed by the three accused, Ramachandra Bharati, Kore Nanda Kumar and D.P.S.K.V.N. Simhayaji, seeking a CBI probe and alleging malafide in the SIT investigation.

Senior counsel asked how could the BJP allege malafide and unfair investigation just a day after the registration of the crime. Why was the party protecting the three accused even though it was saying that they were not related to the party, he asked.

Senior counsel cited a series of Supreme Court judgements — Romilla Thapar, Parkash Singh Badal v State of Punjab, Mohinder Singh Gill, Arnesh Kumar v State of Bihar — and said they stated that neither the accused nor the complainant could seek a change in the investigating agency and allegations of malafide could not scuttle criminal investigation. Even if there is an allegation, prima facie, political, then it cannot be a ground for the courts to intervene in the investigation.

He said law and order and the police were a state subject and the SIT could conduct the investigation. How could the BJP and the accused say that the police should not perform their statutory duties, Dave asked. The Courts could intervene only in the rarest of the rare cases, like in fake encounter cases, Dave said.

Udday Holla, senior counsel from the Karnataka High Court and a former advocate-general, appeared for Bhusarapu Srinivas, advocate from Karimnagar and reportedly a close associate of TS BJP president Bandi Sanjay.

Holla informed the court that the SIT was not probing the case in a proper manner. He said 30 SIT policemen had barged into Srinivas’ house for serving the notice under Section 41A CrPC, despite the fact that he was unwell.

“Am I Dawood Ibrahim, so many policemen came to my house to serve the notice,” senior counsel asked and said the SIT pasted the notice on his door. He said Srinivas was was an advocate with 30 years of practice, despite which he was made to attend interrogation daily for more than 10 hours each day.

Holla said the SIT was forcing Srinivas to name Bandi Sanjay other BJP functionaries in Poachgate.

Holla said that when the Telangana government could tap the phone of the Governor, what of the common man. He pointed out that the Governor had gone to the media  on the issue of phone-tapping which was a violation of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

He mentioned the recent incident in which the car of YSR Telangana Party leader Y.S. Sharmila was towed away by the police even when she was in it. All these were done on by Telangana police on the command of the government head. The investigation into the alleged MLA poaching case could go on similar lines, he said.

The court then adjourned the hearing to Wednesday.

Meanwhile, counsel for Tushar Velampally requested the court to issue notice to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, whom he had made a respondent on the backdrop of his press release regarding some videos which had been reported as evidence of MLA poaching.

However, additional advocate-general J. Ramachandra Rao objected and requested the court to wait till a counter was filed on why notice had not been served on Chandrashekar Rao.