In a setback to the Telangana government, the High Court on Monday dismissed its plea challenging the decision of a single judge to transfer to CBI, the investigation into the case of an alleged attempt to poach BRS MLAs, from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by it.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji confirmed the orders passed by the single judge and dismissed the batch of writ appeals filed by the government and others, on the ground of maintainability.
A single judge of the High Court on December 26, 2022 ordered transfer of the investigation into the case of alleged conspiracy to poach four BRS MLAs to the CBI, from the SIT of the state police.
The High Court had then also quashed the government order to constitute the SIT and the investigation so far carried out by it and also the probe done by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in the initial stage.
After this, the state government and others filed writ appeals against the single judge order.
However, the High Court division bench today upheld the orders passed by the single judge and dismissed the appeals. It also refused to stay its order when state government counsel requested for suspension of the order to enable it to approach the Supreme Court.
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The order now paves way for the CBI to proceed with the investigation. The central agency has already issued letters to the Telangana Chief Secretary requesting to furnish all relevant material in the case.
Three people — Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nandu Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy — were already named as accused (A1 to A3) in the case after a complaint was lodged by BRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy, among four legislators, against them on October 26, 2022.
The trio was arrested while they were allegedly trying to lure four MLAs of the ruling BRS to join the BJP. Subsequently, they were granted bail by the High Court.
As per the FIR copy, Rohith Reddy alleged that the accused offered him Rs 100 crore and in return the legislator had to leave the TRS, now BRS, and contest as a BJP candidate in the next Assembly election.
They had allegedly asked Reddy to bring more BRS MLAs by offering Rs 50 crore each to join the BJP.
The Telangana government on November 9 ordered the setting up of a seven-member SIT to probe into the alleged attempt to poach the MLAs.