Telangana ACB raids houses of accused in cash-for-vote case

AP cabinet holds emergency meeting.

By P S Jayaram

Published: Thu 11 Jun 2015, 12:51 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:56 PM

Hyderabad — Sleuths of the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday carried out raids at the residences of Telangana TDP MLA A Revanth Reddy and two other accused, Sebastian Harry and Uday Simha, in the cash-for-vote scam that has created a political storm in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

About 15 ACB officials, armed with search warrants, conducted the raids in different parts of the city including Revanth Reddy’s residence in the upmarket Jubilee Hills area, sources said, adding that the investigating agency checked documents relating to bank accounts, lands and passports. The searches were conducted before dawn, hours before the questioning of the accused on the fourth day.

The ACB, in a well-planned operation, arrested Revanth Reddy on May 31 while he was offering Rs5 million to nominated legislator in the Telangana State Assembly Elvis Stephenson as part of a Rs50 million bribe to vote in favor of the TDP candidate in the elections to Telangana Legislative Council. His aides were also arrested in the trap laid by ACB on a complaint lodged by Stephenson.

The following day, a city court had sent the three accused to judicial custody for two days, before the ACB’s plea for four day custody was granted. The agency, sources said, were grilling the accused to elicit information about the source of Rs5 million that was offered to Stephenson besides trying to find out where they planned to get the remaining Rs45 million from. The ACB custody of the accused ends on Tuesday and the agency is expected to ask the court for extension.

The agency is also questioning them with regard to the complicity of other political leaders in the scam, particularly after an audio tape purported to contain the conversation between AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had with the nominated legislator, wherein the former assured the latter that “all commitments would be honored.”

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet went into a huddle following an emergency meeting called by the chief minister to discuss the alleged tapping of phones of Naidu and others by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government and the vesting of law and order powers in Hyderabad city with Governor E S L Narasimhan.

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