Andhra Pradesh High Court grants anticipatory bail to YSRCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, accused of vandalising EVM

This came as a big relief for Macherla MLA Ramakrishna Reddy, even as eight police groups were searching for him.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 24, 2024 | 12:44 AMUpdatedMay 24, 2024 | 12:44 AM

File photo of Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday, 23 May, ordered police not to take any action against YSRCP leader Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy until 5 June.

The court gave this order while hearing the anticipatory bail filed the Macherla MLA had filed before it.

This came as a big relief for Ramakrishna Reddy, even as eight police groups were searching for him over a case of electronic voting machine (EVM) vandalism.

The high court, meanwhile, directed Pinnelli not to influence the investigation or the witnesses, scheduling the next hearing for 6 June.

The court also extended the same relief to other candidates who have filed similar anticipatory bail petitions related to the elections.

EVM vandalism row: YSRCP backs Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, questions ECI

The case

Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Mukesh Kumar Meena on Wednesday said police teams had been formed to look for “absconding” YSRCP MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy.

He was accused of vandalising an EVM at a polling centre in the Macherla constituency of the Palnadu district of the state.

The CEO said police raided Reddy’s residence on Wednesday morning, but he was not found there.

“His (Reddy) house was raided in the morning. He was not found, so several teams are now moving around to arrest him,” Meena told reporters.

On 13 May, Ramakrishna Reddy — also the Macherla Assembly constituency candidate from YSRCP — allegedly barged into a polling station and smashed an EVM.

The entire act was caught on a web camera installed by the Election Commission (EC), leading to his identification with footage and documentary evidence.

On Tuesday, the EC directed Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Harish Kumar Gupta to take stringent criminal against the MLA.

According to the EC, EVMs were damaged at seven polling stations in Macherla constituency alone on the polling day.