Vanam Venkateshwar Rao was a Congress candidate who defeated the BRS candidate Jalagam Venkat Rao in 2018 Assembly elections but soon defected to the BRS.
Following two separate orders by two different benches of the Telangana High Court the police have rearrested the three accused in the case of poaching of the four TRS MLAs, but all investigations are on hold till further orders of the court.
Telangana High Court, on Saturday, reversed the order of the judge of ACB special court who had ruled against the remand of the three accused and directed Ramachandra Bharti alias Satish Sharma, K Nandakumar and Simhayajulu to surrender to police within 24 hours. However, soon after another bench of the high court ordered a stay on all investigations into the MLA poaching case until further orders after it heard a writ petition filed by the BJP pleading for a CBI inquiry or by an independent judicial commission.
Earlier in the day, Justice Chillakur Sumalatha set aside the order of the judge of the ACB special court rejecting the remand of the three accused arrested in the case. The ACB court judge had said since there was no evidence of bribe money involved in the case, the police could issue notices according to section 41 (A) of CrPC and summon the accused for investigation.
The police had then filed a lunch motion in the high court against the lower court order. The high court today directed the accused to surrender before the police within 24 hours or face arrest. The police were directed to produce the three arrested accused before the magistrate according to law, lest the police will face contempt of court. Soon, the three accused arrived at the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate and surrendered before the police.
However, the single bench headed by Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy heard the writ petition filed by the BJP stating that the investigations were biased and unfair and seeking a CBI inquiry or a judicial commission. After hearing both the sides, the matter was adjourned till 4 November and the judge directed the state government to stay all proceedings. It also directed the state government to file a counter affidavit.
Incidentally, bypoll at Munugode will be held on 3 November. The counsel for the petitioner, advocate Rachana Reddy, later said: “BJP is a national party which is in power at the Centre. Its reputation is being maligned. It was a farmhouse belonging to a TRS member, and those who present there when police raided were also TRS MLAs. Since there was no presence of BJP and from the evidence available from FIR any direct link with BJP cannot be established.”
Meanwhile, the TRS has issued a gag order on its MLAs and leaders on the grounds that any comments might be interpreted as influencing the investigations. The party’s working president KT Rama Rao who read out a “chargesheet” against the BJP government at the Centre prior to the Munugode poll said they were responsible people running a government.
“The law will take its own course and I am fully confident that the investigative agencies will do their job and at an appropriate time either the investigating agencies investigating the matter, the offence, the criminal act that has happened or our party president and chief minister of the state will respond appropriately,” he added.