TDP legislator gets bail in cash-for-vote scam

Hyderabad, June 30 (IANS) After remaining behind bars for a month in the cash-for-vote case, TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy will be free as the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday granted him bail.

The court also ordered the release of two other accused, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha, on bail.

Justice Raja Elango, who had reserved his order last week, pronounced it on Tuesday.

Revanth was given conditional bail on a personal bond of Rs.5 lakh and two sureties.

The judge directed him to surrender his passport, not to tamper with the evidence and to appear before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) whenever summoned. The legislator was asked not to leave his constituency Kodangal till further orders, one of his lawyers told reporters.

The ACB had arrested Revanth Reddy, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) deputy leader in the Telangana assembly, on May 31 while he was handing over a bribe of Rs.50 lakh to nominated legislator Elvis Stephenson to induce him to vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the Telangana legislative council elections.

Revanth’s two aides were also arrested by the ACB in a trap laid on the basis of a complaint lodged by Stephenson.

A court dealing with ACB cases on Monday extended judicial custody of the accused till July 13.

It was celebration time for Revanth’s family and TDP leaders as they distributed sweets and burst crackers soon after the high court granted bail.

Meanwhile, Telangana government has decided to challenge the bail order in the Supreme Court. Advocate General Ramakrishna Reddy said documents relating to the case were already sent to a lawyer in the apex court.

Arguing the case on behalf of ACB, the advocate general had strongly opposed the bail to Revanth on the ground that he may influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence. The court was told that he is an influential person and his party is in power in neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh.

The ACB had also submitted to the court that the investigations are at a critical stage as Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has given its reports on the audio and video tapes relating to the case.

On the other hand, Revanth’s lawyer had argued that ACB already questioned Revanth in its custody and hence there is nothing more to be elicited from him by keeping him in jail.

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