MLA Gandi Babji surrenders in court
Visakhapatnam, Mar 02: Parawada MLA Gandi Babji, charged with brandishing a revolver and threatening a Telugu Desam Party worker during the byelection to the Visakhapatnam-I Assembly constituency on February 19, surrendered before a city court today (mar 02, 2006) and was granted conditional bail by the magistrate.
The legislator surrendered before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S Mohan Rao, who remanded him to 14 day's judicial custody. Immediately, he moved the bail petition, which was allowed on a conditional basis. The legislator was asked to make himself available for questioning by the CID for four days in a week, both at Hyderabad and the city. He was allowed to attend the ongoing Assembly sessions.
The CID opposed the bail stating that its investigations would be hampered as they were still probing about the missing weapon, which the EC had asked them to find out within ten days.
The legislator was charged with several sections of the CrPC, which pertains to breach of election Code of Conduct and insulting a woman. The High Court had earlier dropped the non-bailable charges under Section 25 and 27, which relate to possession of an unlicensed weapon and threatening someone with a firearm, as the police did not find the revolver alleged to have been used by the legislator. The MLA had denied that he was in possession of a weapon during the incident.
The incident reportedly occurred just before the polling ended and TDP in a complaint with the police alleged that the legislator had threatened one of its workers with a revolver outside a polling station.
When police came looking for him, he immediately got himself admitted to a hospital in the city complaining of chest pain and a week later was shifted to the NIMS in Hyderabad on his request.
When Gandi Babji sought bail his petition was rejected by a city court as well as the High Court. Meanwhile, the state government handed over the case to CID for further investigation when local police were charged with inaction.
Incidentally, the Election Commission, following a visit by its two-member probe team, countermanded the by-poll on charges of large-scale malpractices committed by political parties.
A high drama preceded his surrender as a section of media photographers and reporters were beaten up by the associates of the legislator when they approached him with questions as he entered the court premises. Immediately, the mediamen held a rasta roko while media associations moved a petition in the court of District Judge N Vidya Prasad.
The judge immediately heard their petiton and posted the case for March ten. He also ordered issuance of notice to the legislator to be present in the court on that day. The mediamen alleged in their petition that they were beaten up by the henchmen of the legislator who became agitated when they started questioning their leader.