Cash for MLAs: As CBI team arrives in city, Telangana HC asks agency to wait till Monday to collect probe files

CBI told the court it was ready to take up the probe and had written to the chief secretary for the transfer of files.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jan 06, 2023 | 8:43 PMUpdated Jan 06, 2023 | 8:44 PM

Media debate on Avinash bail

The Telangana High Court on Friday, 6 January, directed the CBI to wait till Monday to seek files from the state police relating to the “Cash for MLAs” case.

The high court gave the direction after the state brought to its notice that the CBI was putting pressure on it for the transfer of all files related to the case.

The CBI, on the other hand, informed the court that it was ready to take up the investigation and that it had written to the Telangana chief secretary for the transfer of the files.

The court’s direction came on a day a special CBI team from New Delhi arrived in Hyderabad to collect details of the BRS MLAs’ poaching case, sources told South First.

The team is headed by a Superintendent of Police (SP) and will examine the case details before having it re-registered by the Delhi unit of CBI, sources said.

War of judicious words

Meanwhile, in court, the BJP’s counsel argued that the transfer of the case to the CBI was appropriate. The counsel said that from 2014 till now, as many as 37 MLAs have joined the BRS.

In this context, the court asked the state government — represented by the attorney general — as to why it had appealed against the BJP even though its petition was dismissed by the single judge.

In his reply, the attorney general said that the reasons given by the single-judge bench were not convincing enough. The court then asked them to settle political issues outside the court.

After the single-judge bench allowed the writ petitions of the accused in the “Cash for MLAs” case, the state government appealed to the division bench.

‘Transfer of case an attack on democracy’

The state government’s counsel argued in the court on Thursday that the single judge’s judgement of transferring the case to the CBI was more like allowing a direct attack on democracy.

He maintained that there was nothing wrong about the chief minister holding a press conference and exposing the conspiracy hatched to topple his government.

The counsel added that it was more of an action taken by a leader of a political party, not to be construed as a measure to influence the investigation.

Also Read: Telangana government files appeal over transfer of case to CBI

The counsel said that the single judge had contradicted himself while delivering his verdict. At one stage, he said that he could understand why the chief minister had held a press conference, while in another context he had said that it was not appropriate for the chief minister to have released the videos and other articles of evidence.

The attorney general alleged that the BJP had toppled several democratically-elected governments in the country through dubious and questionable methods.

‘Move the Supreme Court’

The counsel for the accused in the “Cash for MLAs” case insisted that the division bench cannot take up the appeal by the state government and that the state can only move the Supreme Court if it so wishes.

The videos, which were shot in secret, were made public which was illegal, and the action would only harm the interests of the accused, said the counsel.