Telangana cash-for-vote scam: Supreme Court stays ACB court | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: Giving huge relief to Congress MP A Revanth Reddy, a vacation bench of the Supreme Court on Friday directed the ACB special court in Hyderabad not to cross-examine the witnesses in the cash for vote scam case until further orders.
This would bring to a grinding halt, the ongoing ACB court trial against the accused in the case who were all charged by the ACB with bribing an MLC to influence him to vote in favor of a TDP nominee in the 2015 MLC elections.
A bench of justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant gave this interim direction while hearing a petition filed by Revanth Reddy, a key accused in the case. ACB caught him red-handed when he was trying to buy independent MLC Elvis Stephenson with Rs 50 lakh cash and with a promise of Rs 5 crore more if he votes for the TDP MLC candidate.
Revanth was contending that he was aggrieved with the action of the trial court in asking him to cross-examine the defacto complainant Elvis Stephenson. Since the chief examination of Stephenson was over and his deposition was recorded, the trial court asked Revanth, the prime accused in the case to cross-examine him. Revanth was apprehensive about doing that now. Any loopholes surfaced in the cross-examination of the complainant would be covered up by the investigation officer (IO) whose chief examination is yet to be completed by the trial court. Hence he requested the trial court to defer the cross-examination till the deposition of the investigation officer is recorded by the trial court. The trial court rejected it saying that this is a dilatory tactic to dodge the trial. ACB too opposed this plea saying that it is customary to record the depositions of the key witnesses and defacto complainants first and ask the accused to cross-examine them.
Aggrieved by the trial court order, Revanth approached the high court saying that an investigation officer is a key witness and hence he wants to see his deposition also before venturing into the task of cross-examining the defacto complainant. Otherwise, the IO may improve his version later if I reveal my defense during the cross-examination of Stephenson, he said. The high court did not stay the trial court process and adjourned the case to June 18 for hearing. Revanth approached the Supreme Court seeking a stay of the trial court proceedings. The SC bench on Friday issued notices to the state, ACB, and others asking them to state their stand on the plea of Revanth within 4 weeks. It stayed the trial court process, the session of cross-examination, until further orders. However, it asked the high court which is slated to hear the matter on June 18 to decide the matter on that day itself or within a week from there.

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