Thursday, December 7, 2023

Cash-for-vote case back to haunt Naidu

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C Pradeep Kumar

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu finds himself grappling with past controversies as a decade-old scandal resurfaces. The Opposition Leader’s challenging times continue as the notorious Cash-for-Vote scam case is set for a hearing in the first week of October. The high-profile case is slated to be heard in the Supreme Court on October 4, Wednesday.

Simultaneously, the much-anticipated quash petition filed by Chandrababu Naidu in the Skill Development scam case is scheduled for October 3. The following day, the Cash-for-Vote scam case, which has garnered significant attention, will take center stage in the Apex court.

On October 4, the Supreme Court will deliberate on the plea made by YSRCP Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy. He has urged the court to include Chandrababu Naidu’s name in the 2015 ‘Cash-for-Vote’ scam case. The petition will be heard by a bench comprising Justice MM Sundaresh and Justice Sanjay Kumar.

In his petition, Ramakrishna Reddy argues that Chandrababu Naidu’s name was repeatedly mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the Telangana ACB special court, and therefore, he should be implicated in the case. Previously, the Mangalagiri MLA had alleged that the ACB had failed to bring the case to a logical conclusion.

The Cash-for-Vote case sent shockwaves through Telangana when then-TDP MLA Revanth Reddy and two others were arrested by the ACB for allegedly offering a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to TRS (now BRS) nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson to cross-vote and support TDP nominee Vem Narendar Reddy in the Legislative Council elections. Subsequently, the ACB disclosed details of a purported telephonic conversation between Naidu and Stephenson regarding the offer.

Speaking to The Pioneer, former Judge and senior advocate in the AP High Court, Jada Sravan Kumar, expressed his belief that Chandrababu Naidu will receive much-needed relief in the quash petition for the Skill Development Scam case on October 3. He asserts that Naidu, as A 37, is likely to obtain a stay in the case due to what he perceives as an incorrect interpretation by the AP High Court in the quash petition.

Regarding the Cash-for-Vote scam case, Sravan Kumar opined that significant developments are unlikely, as he contends that the Telangana government is not giving the case its full attention. He anticipates that the case may be adjourned, which is a standard procedural step, or there could be delays if the accused is in remand and the advocate requests more time for preparation.

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