There will not be any request from the Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to give a sample of his voice in the sensational cash-for-vote case. Instead, investigators have decided to collect an admitted sample of Mr. Naidu to verify the mobile phone conversation allegedly between him and Telangana nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson.
Initially, ACB officials wanted to send a notice to Mr. Naidu through the court seeking a sample of his voice to ascertain the veracity of Mr. Stephenson’s claim that the former had spoken to him over a mobile phone. But the investigators had to tread cautiously, given the high-profile nature of the persons involved and on-going legal challenges.
“There is a case pending in the Supreme Court challenging collection of voice samples . Related to Uttar Pradesh, this case was referred to a three judge bench of the apex court,” said an ACB officer, unwilling to be quoted. The investigators did not want their requisition of Mr. Naidu’s voice sample get entangled in such legal disputes.
“If Mr. Naidu moves High Court or Supreme Court refusing to give his voice sample, investigation gets hampered,” the officer said. Investigators, however, did not confirm whether the voice sample they want to collect is from Mr Naidu’s address to the Assembly, public meetings or media footage. Mr. Naidu’s voice sample collection would be preceded by completion of the other crucial parts of the investigation, he said.
Already, the Forensic Science Laboratory had verified the transcripts of the audio and video evidence collected by the investigators in the case related to June 30 and 31. These were the conversations made between Mr. Stephenson, TDP MLA A. Revanth Reddy and others. The reports were submitted to the court.
Investigators have dismissed rumours of the charge-sheet being filed nearly a month ahead of the deadline as they apparently didn’t want any technicalities hampering the prosecution.
Officials indicated that at least two more charge-sheets are to be filed in the case after preparing the transcripts of the phone calls made through phones of Stephenson and TDP MLA Sandra Venkata Veeraiah.