Thursday, June 1, 2023

MLA poaching case: Telangana High Court transfers probe from SIT to CBI

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The Telangana High Court has reserved its verdict in a plea by the State government in an order transferring the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (formerly Telangana Rashtra Samithi) MLA poaching case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

A bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice N Tukaramji heard arguments by the State government before reserving their judgment.

State Government was represented by the senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the State government, stating that entrusting the probe against BJP and its leaders with the CBI was irrational since the CBI itself functions under the BJP government at the Centre.

Advocate Dave said that with all due respect to the learned judge, there has been a serious errors in ordering CBI investigation. The accused will investigate itself? CBI which is directly under BJP will investigate?

He further added that is this the way we exercise of power ? Is it really justified? Discretion must be exercised on some judicial principles.

The counsel said that the single-judge findings were unsustainable and courts does not usually find lack of faith in the state police for mere asking.

The senior counsel asked the respondents had failed to show how the press conference held by the Chief Minister impacted the investigation.

He said that the SIT has four senior officers no allegations against them. In what manner has the press conference interfered in the investigation? How has it made the investigation unfair?”

The respondents said that the single-judge’s order submitting that the Supreme Court had time and again held that when there was a lack of objectivity, a case must be transferred to the CBI.

The respondent said that the SIT comprises of three IPS officers and the rest are state officers.

State officers are under direct control of the Chief Minister. In such situation, can there be a fair investigation?

The order passed by Justice B Vijaysen Reddy to transfer the probe in the matter to the CBI noting that question the fairness of the SIT probe was challenged

The judge had noted that the CM himself circulated videos about the accused to important Constitutional functionaries, even before charge sheet in the case was filed and at the initial stages of the investigation.

The Single judge had said that the Constitution of SIT under the Government will not alter the situation, more particularly, when an authority none other than the Hon’ble Chief Minister himself has openly circulated the videos and branded the accused and members of the organised crime as conspirators.

It added that the entire episode and turn out of events is something unprecedented and incomprehensible and unhesitatingly, this Court holds that the accused have made out a case for transfer of investigation.

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