Justice B Vijaysen Reddy of the Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the State Police to issue fresh notices under Section 41-A of Code of Criminal Procedure to BJP national general secretary BL Santosh through email or WhatsApp.

This was after Advocate General BS Prasad informed that the court that Santosh was not cooperating with the investigation. Moreover, the requisition sent by Santosh to the police said he was ”preoccupied” and ”could not confirm the exact date of appearance before the police”.

On finding that no counsel was representing Santosh, the judge said the BJP State Secretary G Premender Reddy, who was present in court, had to take responsibility for the party’s national general secretary. The judge also wanted to know whether Santosh wanted to challenge the notice or seek further time or take any other steps.

“There should be no dilemma,” he said, also asking why the BJP, which ”claims so much that it has locus” was not representing Santosh. 

Responding to the judge, BJP senior counsel Ramchander Rao submitted that Santosh was a senior citizen, aged about 70 years. The moment he received the notice, he had responded, Rao said, to which the AG pointed out that the reply read that ”he has scheduled a

tour and is preoccupied”.

”He did not even state how much time he requires,” the AG told the court, while the Additional Advocate General representing the State argued that the BJP’s approach was “unfair and intended to delay the case”. ”The court should not give any further opportunity since the only motive was to delay the investigation and destroy the evidence,” he contended.

When BJP counsel Rao maintained that Santosh was a law-abiding citizen and would not scuttle the process of law, the Judge observed that they should argue as counsels and not as political parties. The Judge felt that they should also ”maintain some standards for the next generations to learn.”

Earlier in the day, AG Prasad placed the Supreme Court order copies before the judge, who had asked for the same on Tuesday. Senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, representing three prime accused in the case informed the court that they were ready for a detailed hearing. He also told the court that the BJP had locus in this case.

The judge has directed all parties to submit their pleadings before November 29, stating that he would hear the matter from November 30 and dispose of the case according to the Supreme Court directions.

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