The Hyderabad high court on Monday dismissed an application moved by Telangana's nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson seeking the judge to recuse himself from hearing a petition filed by J Muthaiah, an accused in the cash-for-vote case.
In another development, a local court on Monday extended the judicial remand of TDP MLA Revanth Reddy and two others till July 13 in connection with the case.
Muthaiah had earlier moved the application seeking quashing of the FIR filed by Telangana Anti-Corruption Bureau against him. ACB had arrested TDP MLA Revanth Reddy and two others on May 31 in connection the case.
Justice Shiv Shankar Rao, while dismissing the petition, said he is impartial and nobody can doubt his integrity.
The judge observed that the allegations levelled by Stephenson against the HC amounted to contempt of court and directed the high court registry to file a criminal contempt of court case against the MLA.
A legal counsel representing Stephenson said the chief justice of the high court will take a decision with regard to the filing contempt of court case.
Stephenson, citing certain events that took place in the court during the first hearing on Muthaiah's petition, had alleged that he may not get justice in the case as the court "seemed to be pre-determined".
The same court had earlier stayed Muthaiah's arrest by ACB until further orders.
Meanwhile, a local court on Monday extended the judicial remand of Revanth Reddy and two others till July 13.
Earlier, Stephenson had lodged a complaint with ACB alleging that he was offered Rs 5 crore by the TDP MLA to vote in favour of a Telugu Desam MLC nominee in Telangana Legislative Council polls held on June 1.
Subsequently, ACB had arrested Revanth, along with Bishop Harry Sebastian and R Uday Simha, on May 31 on the charge of paying an alleged bribe of Rs 50 lakh to Stephenson.
Revanth Reddy and two other accused are presently in judicial custody and lodged in Cherlapally Central Prison in Hyderabad.
Some channels had earlier aired a conversation allegedly between Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Stephenson.
A war of words had broken out between the two states after the cash-for-vote case, with Naidu alleging that his phone was tapped even as a total of 87 cases were registered by AP Police against Telangana CM and others.
However, Telangana government and ACB denied that the phones of Naidu and others were tapped.
Image: MLA Elvis Stephenson heading towards the Hyderabad high court. Photograph: snapsindia