Two weeks ago, i predicted that the Moinabad Farmhouse story would collapse like a pack of cards. My inference was based on a few points. Here they are:
1. The entire story put out by Cyberabad Police looked like a badly written amateurish script.
2. The evidence that was presented by police to the media was laughable, worse, illegal, that too even before an FIR was filed.
3. The videos and sound clips that was circulated in media and by the Police and CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, will not stand on its legal legs in a court of law.
Yesterday, a two judge bench of the Telangana High Court headed by Chief Justice Bhuyan and Justice after hearing Dushyant Dave, Senior Counsel representing the State of Telangana and Vaidyanathan Chitambaram, Senior Counsel for BJP, decided that the investigation of the so called MLA buying drama will now be supervised by a sitting judge of the Telangana High Court, Justice B Vijaysen Reddy.
Hyderabad Commissioner CV Anand who heads the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has a thankless job on hand. While the High Court has warned against leaking any information to anyone including Media, Anand knows that he has no choice but to tell CM K Chandrasekhar Rao about the progress of the case. If he does not, his job will be at stake, if he does that surreptitiously, he will be in bigger trouble.
The ham-handed manner in which the initial investigation was done by Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra, smacks of an amateurship act. How did a Police Commissioner rush to the scene of offence based on a call from an MLA? Will the Commissioner do something similar if a common man calls his office?
Why did he brief media that night and claim that the so called accused would be interrogated, even before they were remanded to custody? Where did the so called 100 crore rupees disappear? How were video recording of CCTV images at the Farmhouse get leaked to the media? How were the media there in the first place, even before the cops could reach?
Was the tapping of phones of the so-called accused done with written authorisation from Telangana Home Secretary? On what grounds were the three people accused in the so-called crime, arrested? On what grounds will sting operation videos be used as evidence, when it’s well know that they are not accepted as evidence by courts.
There are more questions, but I don’t want to embarrass the officers who messed up the investigation in a case, that was scripted, directed and acted by you know who.
The brief to Dave by the Telangana Govt was clear. Try and avoid a CBI enquiry at all costs. To the best extent possible, agree to a court monitored investigation.
According to BJP the farmhouse episode was stage managed with the sole objective of defaming the party. BJP was mentioned repeatedly in the first information report. However, it has been clarified that the party is in no way connected with the accused persons, who are neither members of the appellant political party nor are associated with it in any manner.
In this connection, BJP Counsel yesterday pointed out that on page 81 of the observation panchanama, the seizure proceedings is said to have commenced on 26th October 2022 at 12:30 hours and concluded at 14:30 hours on the same day. But the mediators had put their signature on 27th October 2022, while the signature of the officials which was dated 26th October 2022. This vital discrepancy strikes at the very credibility of the investigation being carried out.
During the hearing, the Bench said that certain materials were received by the office of the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, from the President of the TRS party. BJP Counsel informed the judges that similar materials have been dispatched to various other constitutional authorities across the country by the TRS President. Counsel for Telangana Govt, Dushyant Dave, expressed his sincere regret and submitted that this should not have happened.
Here again, let me remind our viewers, that I had asked the same question on the day CM KCR had shown videos to the media and shared a few pictures. Who is advising CM KCR on what to do and what not do during Press Conferences? Does his advisors not know the basics of law? What about media, which telecast the videos, without realising that they should not do so?
Because the case has serious political ramifications, the judges were of the view that it would be in the interest of all concerned if the investigation is done in a fair and professional manner; insulated from political allegations and counter allegations.
The two-judge bench issued an order that since a Special Investigation Team has been constituted, it shall proceed with the investigation. The SIT shall submit its first report in sealed cover before Justice Vijaysen Reddy about the progress of investigation on 29th November 2022.
The judges ordered that there shall be no selective leakage of investigation or materials gathered during investigation before any authority, as well as the media. The judges held that it is the responsibility of the Chairman of the SIT, C.V.Anand, to ensure that the same is scrupulously followed.
Insofar investigation into Crime, the SIT shall not report before any authority, be it political or executive, ordered the judges.
There shall not be any interference by any authority in the investigation by the SIT and if any permissions are required to proceed further with the investigation, SIT would be at liberty to make suitable application before the Single Judge.
The Single Judge shall monitor the investigation and based on materials including progress of investigation to be submitted before him in sealed cover by the SIT from time to time, as may be directed, may pass such order as may be deemed fit and proper; and
The two-judge bench asked for the listing of the writ petitions before the Single Judge on 29th November 2022.
The BJP had filed a petition in the Telangana High Court, seeking a CBI probe or a Court monitored SIT investigation. On its part, BJP counsel argued that it was being dragged into a case, in which the party had no role. To that extent, the Court Monitored SIT with strict clauses, is likely to take the wind out of the sails of the Telangana Govt.
Now, that Justice B Vijaysen Reddy will be monitoring the investigation, the SIT will have to either present rock solid evidence or simply close the case, due to lack of evidence.
What happened in the High Court yesterday, was something a legal intern could have predicted. Even the presence of a big name like Dushyant Dave could not save the day for the Telangana Govt.
This is what happens one tries to cook up a case, where none exists. Worse, things reach ridiculous proportions when pliable police officers start dancing to the tunes of their masters. The Farmhouse case is one such example.