Hyderabad court denies bail to 3 cops in phone tapping case

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: A Hyderabad court on Friday, April 26, dismissed bail petitions of three suspended police officers in the phone-tapping case.

The Nampally City Court rejected the bail petitions filed by D. Praneeth Rao, Bhujanga Rao, and Thirupathanna, agreeing with the argument by the prosecution that bail to the accused at this stage may impact the investigations.

The police voiced apprehension that the accused may influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence if granted bail.

Meanwhile, Radha Kishan Rao, the fourth accused in the case, has also filed a bail petition. The court directed the police to file a counter to the petition and adjourned the hearing to April 29.

Radha Kishan Rao had served as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Task Force.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner K. Sreenivas Reddy said that the probe into the phone tapping case was still underway.

He, however, denied issuing a red corner notice to former Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) chief and retired IPS officer T. Prabhakar Rao, the prime suspect in the case, criticising unconfirmed reports in a section of the media about this.

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The police chief said such speculation will hinder the case and make the investigative process difficult.

“We know what to do and be rest assured we are doing our job,” he told media persons.

Replying to a query, the Police Commissioner said a red corner will be issued but some media wrote that it was already issued.

“I don’t know what pleasure you get. You are only putting spokes in the investigation. Maybe you are alerting them. Sorry for that,” he said.

Sreenivasa Reddy said the police were investigating the case to the best of their ability. Contending that the phone tapping was done to disturb personal lives, he said: “It is a crime not only against an individual but also the society on the whole. Intruding into private lives is a heinous crime.”

He said that four police officers whose role was found in the case were arrested and sent to judicial custody, while some police officers were taken as witnesses and their statements recorded.

He stated that the investigation is going on transparently and those involved will not be spared.

The phone tapping issue came to light last month when a case was registered with the Panjagutta police after a petition was filed by Additional SP, SIB D. Ramesh. When the BRS was in power, former SIB chief Prabhakar Rao had allegedly constituted a team within SIB with his trusted aides including DSP D. Praneeth Rao for surveillance of rival political leaders and their families and dissidents within the ruling party.

Praneeth Rao was arrested after allegedly destroying hard disks and other data after the Congress came to power.

Bhujanga Rao, Additional Superintendent of Police in Bhupalpally district, and Tirupathanna, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, City Security Wing, Hyderabad City Police were arrested on March 23.

They had earlier served in the SIB. Former Deputy Commissioner of Police Radha Kishan Rao was arrested earlier this month. He had allegedly utilised official vehicles to transport cash during the 2019 elections.

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