Jerusalem Mattaiah is one of the key accused in the case, and is listed as an abettor by the ACB.

Cash-for-vote scam SC admits petition by Telangana challenging Mattaiahs acquittalPTI
news News Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 09:38

The Supreme Court on Monday admitted petitions filed by Telangana nominated MLA Stephenson and the Telangana government, which challenged a Hyderabad High Court order, acquitting Jerusalem Mattaiah.

Mattaiah is one of the key accused in the cash-for-vote scam that shook the two Telugu states in 2015.

According to reports, the SC issued notices to Mattaiah to file a counter within two weeks and posted the case for further hearing.

Aggrieved by the latest development, Mattaiah reportedly accused the Telangana government of threatening him in the case, alleging that the state had reached a compromise on the issue with the Andhra government, and had made him a sacrificial lamb.

"AP government which should have protected me has left me in the lurch," he reportedly told media persons in Delhi.

In January last year, then Andhra DGP JV Ramudu, hinted that they were protecting Mattaiah from prosecution from the Telangana ACB, after he reportedly sought protection in Vijayawada.

When questioned by reporters regarding the allegations at the time, Ramudu said, "The police is not partial. But we will have to protect the complainant since the matter is in the courts."

Telangana TDP legislator Revanth Reddy was arrested by the ACB on May 31, 2015, for offering Rs 50 lakh to nominated MLA Stephenson in order to make him vote for the TDP-BJP candidate in the elections to Telangana's legislative council.

ACB, which had laid a trap on a complaint by Stephenson, also arrested Revanth Reddy's aides.

The ACB had earlier said that there were 102 telephone conversation records in another accused TDP leader Bishop Harry Sebastian's phone, related to the case.

The ACB had listed Mathaiah as an abettor and made him accused No 4 in the charge sheet, following which he moved the Hyderabad High court and was acquitted.

The ACB then challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court.

However, the most important phone call that the ACB found was one, alleged to be between Stephenson and Naidu.

The audiotape was first played by T News, a Telugu news channel owned by ruling TRS and was later picked up by others.

During the conversation, Naidu purportedly assured the nominated member that he is with him. "Our people briefed me. I am with you don't bother. For everything I am with you. What all they spoke we will honour (sic)" Naidu was allegedly heard as telling the legislator.

In November last year, an ACB court ordered that Naidu's reported role in the case be probed, following which the Chief Minister's advocates challenged the order in the HC.

In December, the HC set aside the order of the ACB court.