Cash-for-vote: Telangana ACB gets crucial evidence

By: N. Rahul

The Anti-Corruption Bureau is set to speed up investigation in the cash-for-vote scam, having gotten crucial evidence that was ferreted out after examining the tapes of conversation between nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson and other suspects by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).

A sealed cover with one compact disc and three hard discs, which contained information furnished by the FSL, was opened by the ACB court on Friday.

The investigating agency later applied to the court for copies but they were given to them only after securing a consent letter from the laboratory as it insisted on completion of the formality. The ACB officials, led by investigating officer Malla Reddy, scanned a bunch of papers that formed the index for the digital information in the court hall.

Sources said the next step for the ACB was to transcribe the information in its pursuit to rule out allegations that the communication in the tapes was mere “cut and paste” and build a case for serving notices on suspects to attend interrogation.

The ACB had submitted to the court 14 items of audio and video footage on conversation between Mr. Stephenson and others in the alleged deal to ensure the victory of the Telugu Desam candidate in the elections to the Legislative Council from the Assembly constituency.

They included three phones of TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy and his associates Sebastian and Udayasimha, three iPhones and Sony recorders each, installed by the ACB in the house of Mr. Stephenson’s friend, Malcom Taylor, where the deal was struck, two phones of Mr. Stephenson, a CPU recovered from the house of Mr. Revanth Reddy and one hard disc and a digital voice recorder at the instance of Mr. Sebastian. All these items were referred by court to the FSL for examination.

The submission of analysis by FSL to the court ran parallel to arguments in the High Court on Mr. Revanth Reddy’s bail petition and Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan’s meetings with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Secretary L.C. Goel in New Delhi.

The bail plea was heard for over an hour and the verdict was reserved for Tuesday. The meeting of the Governor with Mr. Singh assumed significance in the backdrop of heightened activity to vest the former with special powers to supervise law and order in Hyderabad.

Source: The Hindu

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