TDP legislator’s bail plea hearing adjourned, FSL submits report

Hyderabad, June 24 (IANS) The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday adjourned to Friday the hearing on bail petition of TDP legislator A. Revanth Reddy while the forensic science laboratory submitted its preliminary report to a city court in a cash-for-vote case.

The high court also adjourned till Thursday hearing on a petition by an absconding accused, seeking quashing of proceedings against him.

The court adjourned the hearing on the bail petition of Revanth Reddy after Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana sought more time to file additional counter to the bail plea along with reports from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).

The bail petitions of two other accused Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha will also be taken up for hearing on Friday.

One of the lawyers of Revanth Reddy said the ACB sought time till Monday but the judge only gave them till Friday.

The ACB, in its counter, opposed the bail petitions on the ground that bail at this stage could hamper the investigations into the case as the accused might try to influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.

It also informed the court that the fourth accused Jerusalem Mathaiah is still absconding and hiding in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The court was told that arrest and questioning of Mathaiah could help the ACB unravel the case.

Meanwhile, the high court also adjourned till Thursday hearing on Mathaiah’s petition to delete his name from the first information report (FIR). The ACB opposed Mathaiah’s petition and conveyed to the court that he is a key factor in the case and that his examination is necessary for further investigations.

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 state legislative council elections.

Revanth Reddy’s two aides were also arrested in the trap laid by the ACB on a complaint by Stephenson. The entire episode was also recorded on a camera.

Meanwhile, the FSL which analysed the video and audio tapes and the mobile phones of the accused on Wednesday submitted its preliminary report to the ACB court. It also examined the audio tape of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s alleged telephonic conversation with Stephenson.

The audio tape aired on some television channels led to tension between the two states with the TDP charging TRS government of tapping phones of Naidu, his cabinet colleagues and key leaders.

The ACB filed a memo in the court, seeking a copy of the FSL report. The agency will decide its next move on the basis of findings of the FSL.

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