HC questions Santosh’s failure to appear for ‘poachgate’ questioning

HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday questioned BJP general secretary B.L. Santosh’s failure to appear for questioning by the SIT probing the alleged poaching attempt of TRS MLAs, despite granting him immunity.

The court had directed the Delhi Police to serve a notice to the BJP leader under Section 41A of the CrPC, but not arrest him. The court on Tuesday asked the BJP counsel, by Wednesday morning, to specify when Santosh would present himself to the SIT.

Gadi Praveen Kumar, deputy solicitor general representing the Centre, told Justice Vijaysen Reddy that the SIT notice had been served to Santosh at the BJP office in New Delhi on November 20, and not in person as he was not available.

The issue came to the fore when Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy was on Tuesday hearing petitions by the BJP and the three accused, seeking transfer of the probe to the CBI.

Advocate-General B.S. Prasad, appearing for the SIT, said that Santosh’s absence was intentional and in violation of court orders. He averred that any person not complying with a Section 41A notice can be arrested on obtaining appropriate orders from the lower court.

“The noticee is just playing with the court orders and is trying to avoid his appearance before SIT... this will result in criminal prejudice,” Prasad said.

The Advocate-General also informed the court that the Supreme Court on Monday set aside the order of the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, which directed Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy to monitor the investigation and for the SIT to submit progress reports to the single-judge bench.

He said that the Supreme Court also set aside the orders of Justice C. Sumalatha of the Telangana High Court over a criminal revision petition filed by the three accused — Ramachandra Bharathi alias Satish Sharma, Kore Nandu Kumar and D.P.S.K.V.N. Simhayaji.

The court directed the Advocate-General to furnish a copy of the Supreme Court order on Wednesday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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