Following a criminal review motion filed by Cyberabad Police against the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court order, Judge C Sumalata he said the three accused should immediately surrender to the Cyberabad Police Commissioner and be sent to jail until the next time the police present them before a court. On Thursday night, the ACB court refused to place the three accused in police custody, rejecting the police custody report on the grounds that they had not properly notified the accused.
The judge heard the arguments of Advocate General BS Prasad, who described the ACB court order as the result of a misinterpretation of the Supreme Court’s “Arnesh Kumar judgment”. The AG requested a court order remitting the three defendants to judicial custody. He said the pre-trial report contained a lot of material explaining why the accused had to be in pre-trial detention. “The court and his judge did not examine him and the judge simply rejected the custody report,” he explained.
The court of first instance was wrong when it said the police should issue a notice to the accused under section 41-A of the CrPC, the AG said. “The apex court in Arnesh Kumar’s verdict did not state that it was mandatory to issue notice and not make arrests,” he stressed. The judge agreed with the AG’s view and overturned the ACB court order.
The judge also found the accused guilty of failing to provide their residential addresses to the Cyberabad Police Commissioner despite a court order on Friday. “Now go and immediately surrender in front of the police commissioner,” he said. In case of non-delivery, the police were free to arrest them and present them before the magistrate concerned to ask for pre-trial detention. “The magistrate should send them to pre-trial detention after verifying the documents,” Judge Sumalatha said.
The three accused were arrested on a farm near Hyderabad on Wednesday evening, and police said the three were held on suspicion of offering bribes to four MLAs from TRS to switch to the BJP. Ramachandra BharatiK Nanda Kumar e Simhayaji were named as the three defendants in the FIR.
Meanwhile, a petition filed by BJP G Secretary General Premendar Reddy calling for a CBI investigation into the Moinabad FIR farm was filed before Judge B Vijaysen Reddy, who suspended the ongoing police investigation into the case.
Additional Advocate General J Ramachandra Rao brought to the attention of the court, the same BJP did not ask for such relief. He said they were seeking the transfer of the investigation from the state police to the CBI or a SIT. “Furthermore, such a suspension order will conflict with Judge Sumalatha’s order, which allowed the police to arrest the defendant and request pre-trial detention,” he said.
Attorney J Prabhakar, who appeared for the BJP, said he had nothing to do with the accused in the case. “Since the state government is trying to tarnish our party’s image, we are looking for an impartial investigation, which is not possible through a state-led police investigation,” he said.
At this point, Judge Vijaysen said it was not a stay but just an order asking the police to postpone the investigation for a few days. “We will listen to the complaint raised by Ramachandra Rao after going through the state government counter, ”the judge said. He ordered the government to present his counter-rotator and sent the case to November 4 for a further hearing. “Until then, the police shouldn’t go ahead with their investigation of the case,” the judge said.
In the Moinabad FIR, Cyberabad police accused the defendant of attempting to purchase four TRS lawmakers. An amount of Rs 100 crore was promised to Tandur MLA Pilot Rohith Reddywhile the other three MLAs were offered Rs 50 crore each, he said.
Police said Rohith Reddy, at whose farm the accused had met, had informed them of the “cash deal” and that the police and CBA investigators had made arrangements to record the lawmakers’ seduction process.