Hight Court refuses stay, orders Santosh to appear before SIT tomorrow
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Vujjini Vamshidhar
HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court was on Saturday not inclined to stay the notices issued to BJP national general secretary B.L. Santosh and advocate Bhusarapu Srinivas of Karimnagar, under Section 41-A of the CrPC for appearance before the C.V. Anand-headed Special Investigation Team that is investigating the alleged poaching of TRS MLAs. They were asked to appear on Monday.
Srinivas is reportedly a close aide of TS BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar and had allegedly booked the flight ticket of Ramachandra Bharathi, one accused in ‘poachgate.’
The High Court directed Santosh and Srinivas to comply with the conditions imposed by SIT. It also urged the SIT not to arrest them till further orders.
Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy was dealing with petitions of the BJP state unit seeking a stay on the SIT notices. Another petition was filed by Srinivas, challenging the notice issued on him for his appearance.
The Telangana home department and SIT jointly filed a petition requesting the High Court to direct the Delhi police commissioner to co-operate with the investigation.
SIT complained that when their staff went to Delhi to serve the notice on Santosh, the Delhi police had not extended assistance and had refused to give protection to the team members. Justice Reddy issued directions to the Delhi police to cooperate with the SIT. He asked SIT to forward a copy of the notices to Delhi police commissioner.
The High Court said that if there was any violation of the orders issued in relation to serving of notices, it should be informed by Tuesday.
Justice Reddy gave the liberty to the BJP state unit to get clarification from the division bench of the High Court headed Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan on its November 15 orders.
The BJP objected to the notice to Santosh, stating that the division bench had mentioned that the SIT must suitable application before the single judge to proceed with the investigation. This was not complied with, senior counsel Vaidyanathan Chidambaram, representing the BJP, said.
He said some newspapers had published reports on November 18 that the SIT had served notices on Santosh. This was a violation of the division bench orders not to disclose the progress in investigation either to anyone but the single judge.
He expressed apprehensions that the SIT may arrest Santosh after he appears it.
Advocate-General B.S. Prasad and additional advocate general J. Ramachandra Rao asked how the BJP was seeking a stay when notices were not served due to the lack of cooperation of the Delhi police.
However, Justice Reddy made it clear to Santosh and Srinivas to comply with the conditions imposed by the SIT and adjourned the case to Tuesday.