Hyderabad: The four-year-old cash-for-vote corruption scandal, which is back in the spotlight a month before Parliamentary elections are to be held, will be a handy tool in the political games that are played before any election.
In the wake of an 11-minute video clip which provides ‘crucial evidence’ to nail the person who hatched the cash-for-vote scam, there would be a ‘significant development’ with Enforcement Directorate playing the whip master, said a source close to the TRS top brass.
On March 6, Deccan Chronicle carried an article titled, ‘Babu hiked bribe to Rs 5 crore’. The paper is in possession of a video that was shot at key witness Malcom Taylor’s residence in Tarnaka, in which a Telugu Desam member says, in the 4.48th minute of the video: “Initially ‘Babu’ was willing to give only Rs 3-3.5 crore but on my recommendation the bribe was increased to Rs 5 crore.”
This clip has turned out to be a significant breakthrough in the case as all the accused in the cash-for-vote scandal have denied ownership of the money.
It is independently learnt that since the High Court has stayed any further proceedings in the case, the Anti Corruption Bureau that registered the case in 2015 will not be in a position to proceed unless the stay is vacated.
This correspondent spoke to legal experts about what action we can expect. Senior criminal lawyer C. Mallesh Rao said: “The High Court has stayed any further proceeding of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), which registered this case in 2015. Any legal action will anger the court, unless the stay is vacated. Other agencies such as the income-tax department and Enforcement Directorate can proceed with the investigation.”
He said the ACB can also use the forum of the court, submit evidence, and get the stay vacated.
“The ACB has the right to gather evidence and go before the same court and file a petition to vacate the stay, stating that the accused is taking shelter of the stay to escape from the trial,” Mr Rao said.