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TRS MLAs poaching case: Telangana HC grants bail to 3 accused

Ramachandra Bharati, Nanda Kumar, and Simhayaji Swami have been accused of offering bribes to four TRS MLAs to switch sides and join the BJP.

Telangana High Court (Source: Telangana High Court website)

The Telangana High Court on Thursday granted bail to the three men accused of allegedly offering bribes to four Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLAs, in a bid to make them join the BJP.

While granting bail to Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar, and Simhayaji Swami, the high court directed them to pay a bond of Rs 3 lakh each with two sureties and asked them to appear before the special investigation team (SIT) probing the case every Monday.

The probe is being led by a seven-member state-appointed special investigation team led by Hyderabad police commissioner C V Anand.

Meanwhile, the high court directed two other accused, Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) president Tushar Vellapally and lawyer B Srinivas, to cooperate with the SIT and restrained the police from arresting them.

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On Wednesday, the SIT submitted before the court its report on the investigation so far, along with documents, CDs, pen drives and other evidence. The same was shared with advocates representing the accused.

On November 24, the special judge for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases had rejected the SIT’s remand application, seeking custody of the three accused in the case for a week.

The three accused are in judicial custody after their 14-day remand ended on November 12. On November 14, the ACB court had rejected the accused’s bail petitions. However, the Supreme Court in an order issued on November 21 requested the court to consider the bail petitions if filed by the petitioners expeditiously.

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On November 24, the special judge for Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) cases had rejected the SIT’s remand application, seeking custody of the three accused for a week.

The accused were arrested on October 26 for allegedly trying to bribe four TRS MLAs with amounts ranging from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore to bring down the K Chandrashekar Rao government.

As part of the probe, the SIT had earlier sent summons to BJP’s national general secretary B L Santosh, Vellapally, Jaggu Swamy, a doctor from Kerala, lawyers Srinivas and Pratap Goud and Nanda Kumar’s wife Chitralekha. However, Santosh, Tushar and Jaggu Swamy have still not appeared before SIT.

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The police had registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The high court stayed the second notice issued by SIT to Santosh for appearance till December 5.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 14:06 IST
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