Cash-for-vote scam: TDP MLA produced in court

Hyderabad, July 7 (IANS) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Telangana on Tuesday produced Telugu Desam party (TDP) legislator Sandra Venkata Veeraiah in a city court in the cash-for-vote case and sought his judicial custody.

The ACB informed the court that the TDP legislator has been included as the fifth accused in the case as there is a strong evidence of his involvement.

In a memo filed in the court, the ACB told the court that the MLA spoke to other accused over phone on many occasions. It sought his judicial custody for 14 days.

The agency also conveyed to the court that Veeraiah tried to evade questioning last month by getting himself admitted in a hospital in Rajahmundry in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

The MLA’s lawyer opposed the petition on the ground that ACB did not take the assembly speaker’s permission before arresting him.

The judge, who heard arguments from both sides, is expected to pronounce his orders later on Tuesday.

The ACB had arrested the MLA on Monday evening after day-long questioning at the ACB office in Banjara Hills.

He is the second TDP legislator to be arrested in the case.

The ACB on Saturday issued him a fresh notice to appear before 5 p.m. on July 6.

The agency summoned him for questioning last month too but he failed to respond. He, later, sent a letter to the ACB, seeking 10 days’ time to appear before it, citing ill-health.

Veeraiah represents Sattupalli assembly constituency in Khammam district of Telangana.

The ACB last month quizzed V. Narender Reddy who was the TDP-BJP candidate in the Telangana legislative council elections but he was not arrested.

TDP legislator Revanth Reddy was arrested by the ACB on May 31 while he was offering Rs.50 lakh as bribe to nominated member Elvis Stephenson reportedly to induce him to vote for Narender Reddy.

The ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested two aides of Revanth Reddy.

All the three were granted bail by the Hyderabad High Court last week.

The fourth accused Jerusalem Mathaiah is absconding and is believed to be hiding in Andhra Pradesh.

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