Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy has sought five days to appear before the CBI in the YS Vivekananda Reddy murder case.
The parliamentarian cited programmes already scheduled while seeking more time to appear before the investigators at the CBI’s office in Hyderabad.
On Monday, 23 January, the CBI issued a notice to the YSRCP lawmaker to appear before it at 11 am on Tuesday, 24 January.
CBI officers issued the notice to Avinash Reddy’s personal assistant Raghava Reddy at Pulivendula in Vijayawada on Monday. The sleuths had earlier in the day visited the residence of the MP’s father Bhaskara Reddy, and the local YSRCP office.
The investigators handed over the notice to the parliamentarian’s assistant after they could not meet him in Vijayawada. It was learnt that the MP reached Pulivendula by Monday night.
In his reply to the CBI, Avinash Reddy cited an inauguration of a government hospital at Chakrayapet and also a food distribution programme at a temple in Gandi in his parliamentary segment on Tuesday.
Related: SC cites ‘fundamental right to get justice’ as it transfers murder trial
First notice to MP
The Andhra Pradesh High Court transferred the sensational Viveka murder case to the CBI in March 2020.
Vivekananda Reddy, the paternal uncle of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy — and brother of late Congress strongman and former chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy — was found dead with injuries under suspicious circumstances at his Pulivendula residence on 15 March, 2019, days before the general elections.
In a charge sheet filed before the court earlier, the CBI stated that Avinash Reddy, along with his associate Devireddy Sivshankar Reddy, propagated a theory that Vivekananda Reddy had died of a heart attack.
The CBI also said Vivekananda Reddy was favouring YSRCP’s Kadapa Lok Sabha ticket for himself or YS Sharmila, sister of Chief Minister Jagan or mother YS Vijayalakhmi, instead of Avinash Reddy.
“Hence, it is suspected that Avinash Reddy got Vivekananda Reddy killed by his henchman Shankar Reddy,” the CBI said in the charge sheet, adding that investigation in that direction was still on.
Trial shifted to Hyderabad
In November 2022, a Supreme Court bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice MM Sundresh transferred the trial of the murder case from Andhra Pradesh to the Special CBI Court in Hyderabad.
The bench acted upon a petition filed by Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter, Dr Suneetha Narreddy, seeking a direction that the investigation is transferred to any other state and that it be monitored by a retired high court judge.
During the hearing, arguing on behalf of Suneetha, senior counsel Siddharth Luthra told the apex court that the Kadapa MP Avinash Reddy — also a member of the extended family — was interfering in the investigation.
The CBI could not complete the investigation because of the hurdles Avinash Reddy had created by influencing witnesses and local authorities, Luthra claimed.
He further argued that the witnesses were being threatened.
The local inspector, Shankaraiah, who was suspended for not conducting a proper inquiry at the time of the incident, was later given a promotion by the state government.