Invoking irrelevant Sections of Indian Penal Code and the First Information Report not mentioning commission of an offence were among several points that suggest probe by Special Investigation Team (SIT) into TRS MLAs’ poaching attempt case was not fair and had ulterior motives, said Supreme Court senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani on Wednesday.
Appearing for the three accused in the case and presenting arguments before Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy of the Telangana High Court, senior counsel said the SIT had allowed passage of evidence into the hands of political parties. Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy Bench was hearing writ petitions filed by the accused in the case and the BJP seeking transfer of the case from SIT to any independent agency or the CBI.
Recalling that Chief Justice of India and Telangana High Court Chief Justice and Chief Justices of other High Courts too received parcels containing details of evidences in the case, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani said that the SIT had proved that it lacked honesty by facilitating this transfer of details to political executives who sent the same to judiciary hoping to secure decisions favourable to them.
Invoking of Sections 171B and 171E of Indian Penal Code in the poaching attempt case itself showed the police had ulterior motive, he said. The two Sections belong to offering bribes to public servants to perform a public duty. The police charge stated that TRS MLAs were offered ₹100 crore each to join the BJP.
Going by the police contention, the TRS legislators joining BJP would constitute public duty, senior counsel said. The SIT constituted cannot perform its duties with honesty, fairness and impartially since the government picked up officers of their choice. But nobody can attribute motives to the SIT if it is constituted by a High Court judge, Mr. Mahesh Jethmalani said.
He said that his clients were seeking investigation into the case by an independent agency since fair investigation was part of fundamental rights conferred under Article 21 of the Constitution. Supreme Court senior counsel Dushyant Dave appearing for the State government differed with Mr. Jethmalani stating that the accused in the case were trying to scuttle investigation by attributing motives to the SIT.
It was police and police alone who can investigate into a crime. This is a statutory duty of the police and even a court cannot interfere with this doctrine, the senior lawyer argued. While the poaching attempt case was registered on October 26, the very next day BJP moved the High Court seeking to stall the investigation since the accused and BJP were in tandem, he said.
In past seven years of BJP rule, opposition governments fell in one State after the other in the country and Telangana was only one of the few States where non-BJP parties (opposition) parties was in power, he said. The BJP did not want even Telangana to be in the hands of the opposition and tried to topple the government by luring TRS legislators to join BJP, he said.
The matters were posted to Tuesday for next hearing.