SC declines plea to cancel bail of Telangana cash-for-vote accused

New Delhi/Hyderabad, July 3 (IANS) In a setback to Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in cash-for-vote scam, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed its petition for cancellation of bail of TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy and two other accused.

Revanth Reddy, the prime accused, and his aides Sebastian Harry and R. Uday Simha were granted bail by Hyderabad High Court on June 30.

A bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy declined the plea by the Telangana government seeking cancellation of bail as senior counsel Kapil Sibal urged the court that the investigation into the money trail was still to be conducted and Reddy was a legislator wielding considerable clout.

The Telangana government had sought the issuance of non-bailable warrants against Reddy with a direction that he be sent to judicial custody.

“One of them is a MLA and the day he came out (on bail) he made a statement.. We have yet to investigate from where money came and who is involved,” Sibal told the court.

He also drew the court’s attention to a threatening speech made by Revanth Reddy against Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao after his release from jail in Hyderabad on Wednesday. He pointed out that police have booked cases against him in this connection.

Finding the court unrelenting, he said: “If that is so, then the same yardstick should apply to all the criminals across the board by the court.”

Revanth Reddy, deputy leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana legislative assembly, was arrested by the ACB on May 31 when he was trying to give Rs.50 lakh as bribe to nominated legislator Elvis Stephenson to induce him to vote for TDP-BJP candidate in Telangana legislative council elections.

Revanth’s aides Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha were also arrested in the trap laid by ACB on Stephenson’s complaint.

Sibal told the court that the investigation into the case has revealed that the whole transaction was “meticulously planned and executed” and the “money trail was still be investigated”.

Questioning the grant of bail to the two accused, he said that high court had completely ignored the “well-founded contentions and apprehensions of the investigating agency”.

Sibal argued that it was not an ordinary case under the Prevention of Corruption Act but constituted a class apart and ought to be treated differently.

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