The Telangana High Court Wednesday asked the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the alleged offer of bribes to four TRS MLAs in a bid to make them join the BJP, to issue fresh notice to BJP national general secretary B L Santhosh to appear for questioning in connection with the case.
Justice B Vijaysen Reddy gave the direction after the SIT was unable to serve the notice it had issued on November 16 to Santhosh who, party leaders said, was campaigning in poll-bound Gujarat.
The November 16 notice, issued by investigation officer B Gangadhar (ACP of Rajendranagar Division of Cyberabad Police), stated that the SIT, during its investigation, found there were reasonable grounds to question Santhosh to ascertain facts and circumstances in the case.
The notice directed him to appear before the SIT at its office on November 21, and bring a mobile phone with a particular number.
The SIT had also issued notice to Bharati Dharma Jana Sena president Tushar Vellapally of Alappuzha, Jaggu Kottilil of Kochi, and D Srinivas, a Karimnagar-based advocate.
Srinivas appeared before the SIT and was questioned. Santhosh, Tushar and Jaggu did not show up.
On November 19, the High Court had directed the SIT not to arrest Santhosh until he received the summons. Justice Reddy had directed the SIT to take the help of Delhi Police, but it could not be served in person to Santhosh.
On Wednesday, Justice Reddy asked the SIT to issue fresh notice with a new date. The matter has been posted to November 29.
According to Cyberabad police, four TRS MLAs — P Rohith Reddy, G Balraj, Harvardhan Reddy and R Kantha Rao — were offered bribes to the tune of Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore, allegedly by Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swami, to join the BJP and topple the TRS government of K Chandrashekar Rao.
On October 26 night, Cyberabad police raided a farmhouse in Moinabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad and arrested the three accused.