A special Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Hyderabad on Tuesday framed charges against Congress Member of Parliament (MP) A Revanth Reddy and two others in the cash-for-vote case that had come to light in 2015. The court framed charges against Revanth and two others, a senior official of Telangana ACB told PTI. "They will now face trial. The court will issue a schedule of dates and it has posted the matter for February 19. Once the schedule is given, witnesses will be produced for recording their statements," the official said.
On May 31, 2015, Revanth Reddy, then in the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was nabbed by the ACB while allegedly paying a Rs 50 lakh bribe to Elvis Stephenson, a nominated MLA, for supporting TDP nominee Vem Narendar Reddy in the Legislative Council elections held on June 1, 2015.
Stephenson had alleged that he was offered Rs 2 crore and a flight ticket to leave the country after casting his vote in favour of the TDP candidate. He also claims to have been offered Rs 5 crore to abstain from casting the vote. The ACB had then arrested Revanth Reddy and some others.
A video of the sting operation conducted by the ACB was also released to the media. At the time, an alleged phone conversation between Stephenson and TDP chief and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was also played out on media channels, starting with T News, which is owned by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
All accused in the case were later granted bail. In July 2015, the ACB had filed a charge sheet against Revanth and the others under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The ACB had then said it had collected clinching evidence in the form of audio and video recordings and recovered an advance amount of Rs 50 lakh. Earlier in January, Revanth had filed a petition with the ACB court contending that the case does not fall under the purview of the court but rather with the Election Commission of India. The petition was however dismissed.
(With PTI Inputs)