Supreme Court adjourns plea seeking CBI probe into Chandrababu Naidu role in vote-for-note scam

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned till July the plea filed by Ramakrishna Reddy seeking a CBI investigation into the role of TDP national president and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the vote-for-note scam.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde heard the plea challenging an order of the Telangana High Court pertaining to cash-for-vote scam and seeking inclusion of Chandrababu Naidu’s name in the FIR.

According to the petition, Naidu should be included as an accused in the case. The accused no. 1 in the case, A. Revanth Reddy, who was an MLA of Telangana when the case was registered, offered money to nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson to vote for the TDP MLC nominee and in the process, Revanth made the nominated MLA speak to Naidu over the phone. However, the investigating agency of Telangana did not include Naidu in its charge-sheet in the case. 

The plea also stated that both Revanth Reddy and Naidu are highly influential in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the investigation into the scam has come to a standstill after the filing of the initial charge-sheet. The investigation should be handed over to the CBI in the interest of justice, otherwise the guilty will escape the clutches of the law. 

The High Court in Hyderabad in 2016 had dismissed a complaint filed by Ramakrishna Reddy seeking an investigation into Naidu’s alleged role in the cash-for-vote case on the ground that Reddy had no locus standi to file such an application.

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In May 2015, Stephenson, the nominated MLA in Telangana Assembly, lodged a complaint alleging that he was offered Rs 5 crore by TDP MLA Revanth Reddy to vote for TDP nominee in the election to the Telangana Legislative Council on June 1. On May 31, the ACB arrested Revanth Reddy, Bishop Sebastian Harry and Rudra Udaya Simha when they were allegedly handing over an advance sum of Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson. A charge-sheet was filed by the ACB which mentioned TDP chief Naidu's name, but not as an accused.