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Centre ‘Misusing’ CBI, ED; MLA Poaching ‘Death’ of Democracy: Dave

The senior advocate told the SC that the three accused were caught on video trying to bribe Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLAs.
Centre ‘Misusing’ CBI, ED; MLA Poaching ‘Death’ of Democracy: Dave

Dushyant Dave. Image Courtesy: Twitter

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave has questioned the Telangana High Court’s (HC) decision to transfer the probe into the alleged conspiracy hatched by the BJP to poach four Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) legislators from a SIT to the CBI.

We are a regional party fighting a national party attempting to destabilise our government. During the trap proceedings, the accused admitted that the Bharatiya Janata Party toppled eight governments in this manner,” Dave told a Bench of Justices BR Gavai and Aravind Kumar of the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday.

They have been caught red-handed and the evidence against them is very damaging. That is why they do not want the state police to investigate this matter,” Dave, representing the Telangana Police, added. The Bench was hearing the state police’s plea against the HC order, LiveLaw reported.

How can the CBI be asked to investigate? The BJP is in power at the Centre. The allegations are against the BJP. The CBI is under the BJP.”

When Justice Gavai countered saying: “Then a SIT could be said to be under whichever party is in power in a state”, Dave said: “The state police has an absolute right since the offence was committed within its jurisdiction.” The state government would be amenable to the HC monitoring the probe by the special team, he added.

Disputing the BJP’s claim that the Telangana government had interfered with the investigation, Dave said that three people, Ramachandra Bharati, alias Satish Sharma, Nandu Kumar, and Simhayaji Swamy, named as accused in the police complaint lodged by the BRS legislators, were caught red-handed attempting to lure the four MLAs into joining the BJP.

We did not invite them. They approached our MLAs and were caught in a trap. There are five hours of video recordings as proof,” he further countered.

The BJP had relied on a press conference conducted by chief minister KC Rao where he released a video of the alleged incident to claim that the probe was compromised due to the ruling party’s interference.

Dave, however, contended that the Rao “did not interfere” with the investigation.

He [Rao] is the leader of the ruling party and there are attempts to bring down his government by illegal means. Is he not entitled to tell the people this? Can this be called interference?” the senior counsel asked.

Dave also accused the Centre of using Central agencies like the CBI and the ED to attack political opponents. “This is the harsh reality in this country today. Please, do not shut your eyes to these reality.”

Urging the Bench not to dismiss the matter at the stage of admission, he said: “This is not about BJP or BRS. It is about our country and our democracy. It is about that little man who has voted these legislators into power expecting them to perform well and look after his interests for five years. But in state after state, members of legislatures are lured away by the BJP, taken on chartered planes and accommodated in several star hotels.”

Dave termed poaching of lawmakers as a “mockery and death of democracy”. “Only you can stop this,” he further urged the SC.

After hearing Dave’s submission, Justice Gavai said: “We have heard the matter for some time. However, both of us will be sitting in different combinations. Registry to obtain appropriate order from the chief justice for placing this matter before the appropriate bench.”

The Bench will hear the matter after the Holi vacation with senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for the BJP and making his submission.

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