Cash-for-vote case: TDP MLA Revanth Reddy, 2 others get bail

Hyderabad: In a relief to Telangana TDP MLA A Revanth Reddy, the prime accused in the cash-for-vote case, the Hyderabad High Court today granted bail to him and two others accused in the case.

The High Court directed Reddy and the two others accused - Bishop Harry Sebastian and R Uday Simha - to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh each and two sureties of the like amount. They were asked to cooperate with the investigating agency (Anti-Corruption Bureau). Reddy was also asked to surrender his passport and not to leave his Assembly constituency.

Earlier, the special court for ACB cases had rejected the bail pleas of Reddy and the two others. Subsequently, Reddy and the two others accused moved the Hyderabad High Court on June 15 seeking bail.

Reddy contended before the High Court that it is a politically motivated case and he is being falsely implicated.

During arguments, the defence counsel contended that their clients need not be in custody as all material has been collected and it is possession of the ACB. He further submitted that the ACB officials have to record in writing giving reasons why they have been taken into custody.

However, Telangana's Advocate General Ramakrishna Reddy, who represented the ACB, opposed the bail applications stating that the source of Rs 4.5 crore funds was yet to be ascertained and apprehended tampering of evidence. He further said that the investigation is in preliminary stage.

The HC Judge, Justice Raja Elango, had earlier said that there is some material to register the case, but wondered why the police officers have not recorded reasons for arrest in writing as contemplated under the law, when the maximum sentence in this case is less than seven years.

Earlier, Telangana's nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson had lodged a complaint with ACB alleging that he was offered Rs 5 crore by the TDP MLA to vote in favour of a Telugu Desam MLC nominee in Telangana Legislative Council polls held on June 1.

Subsequently, the ACB had arrested Revanth and the two others on May 31, while they were paying an alleged bribe of Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson.

A war of words had broken out between the two states after the cash-for-vote case, with Naidu alleging that his phone was tapped even as a total of 87 cases were registered by AP Police against Telangana CM and others.

However, Telangana government and ACB denied that the phones of Naidu and others were tapped.

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