Justice K Surender gave the interim order after hearing a petition filed by Santhosh, who is BJP national general secretary (organisation), urging the HC to quash the SIT notice.
Santhosh, who has so far failed to appear before the SIT despite two notices, has now been named an accused in the case in which four TRS MLAs were allegedly offered cash to join BJP.
“Since Santhosh did not appear before investigators despite ample opportunity, police have made him an accused. No evidence is required to be furnished at this stage and a notice under CrPC 41-A cannot be challenged in this way,” advocate general BS Prasad said.
The AG said the three arrested accused were in touch with Santhosh through SMS.
‘BL Santhosh trying to subvert probe’
The investigators have evidence to prove Santhosh was part of a criminal conspiracy against TRS government, AG added.
He said Santhosh has been trying to subvert the investigation and the petition filed by him deserved to be rejected at the threshold stage itself.
Santhosh’s advocate, senior counsel D Prakash Reddy, said CrPC 41-A notice should be quashed as SIT has not fulfilled the requirements under it. “The law says there should be three grounds. Reasonable suspicion, reasonable complaint and some credible information. Only then can police issue a 41-A notice. Except saying they have material, the police have not disclosed any proof in their notices,” the senior counsel said.
The judge said the court was of the prima facie opinion that basic evidence was missing from the notices issued to Santhosh and stayed them.