Viveka murder case: SC seeks YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy’s response on plea seeking cancellation of his bail

The vacation bench posted the matter for hearing on 3 July, when another related matter is also listed for hearing.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 19, 2023 | 2:19 PMUpdatedJun 19, 2023 | 2:19 PM

Avinash Reddy

The Supreme Court on Monday, 19 June, issued a notice to YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy on a plea challenging the Telangana High Court order granting him anticipatory bail in the case related to the murder of former Andhra Pradesh minister YS Vivekananda Reddy.

The vacation bench comprising of Justice Surya Kanth and Justice MM Sundaresh posted the matter for hearing on 3 July, when another related matter is listed for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.

Related: Court extends remand of 6 accused, including Bhaskar Reddy

Plea by daughter of Viveka

The notice was on the plea by Dr Sunitha Narreddy challenging the 31 May order of the Telangana High Court granting pre-arrest bail to Avinash Reddy.

Dr Sunitha Narreddy is the daughter of the murdered late parliamentarian, popularly known as Viveka.

Appearing for the petitioner, Dr Sunitha Reddy, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra told the vacation bench that Avinash Reddy was not cooperating with the CBI in the investigation, which was asked by the top court to complete the probe by 30 June, 2023.

Luthra told the vacation bench that the Andhra Pradesh High Court had handed over the investigation to the CBI and on the direction of the top court trial the case was transferred from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana. Before the case was entrusted to the CBI for investigation, it was being probed by the state police.

Related: CBI affidavit says Jagan among first to be informed of death

Up to CBI to decide

In the last hearing of the matter on 13 June, a vacation bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah had observed that it was for the CBI to say that Avinash Reddy was not cooperating in the investigation of the case, and the kind of interrogation they want him to be subjected.

Avinash Reddy is accused number 8 in the case of Vivekanand Reddy’s murder. Sunitha Reddy had in the last hearing told the court that Avinash Reddy was the main conspirator in her father’s murder.

Challenging the 31 May order of Telangana High Court granting anticipatory bail to Avinash Reddy — also a one-time Lok Sabha member from Kadapa parliamentary constituency — the petitioner sought an “ex-parte ad interim” stay of the 31 May judgment and the order.

She had challenged the high court order on different counts.

Related: Avinash Reddy meets father Bhaskar Reddy in Chanchalguda Jail

Seeks more time for CBI probe

She has also sought an extension of time given to the CBI for completing the investigation into the larger conspiracy in the alleged murder.

The top court by its 24 April order had directed the CBI to conclude the investigation by June 30.

Assailing the high court order, Sunitha Narreddy in her petition has said that the high court, after holding a “mini trial and giving findings/making comments on the merits of the prosecution case” virtually accepted the entire case of Avinash Reddy, while disregarding the evidence collected by the CBI which is investigating the case.

Alleging non-cooperation by Avinash Reddy in the investigation of the case, the petition says that he did not appear before the investigating agency on the last three occasions despite notices by the CBI asking him to appear before it.

Suniha Narreddy alleged that Avinash Reddy along with other accused had “successfully” tampered with evidence by “destroying the scene of offence in the presence of the state police and propagated the story that the deceased had died due to a heart attack.”

The petition says that Avinash Reddy had in fact “pressurised the police not to register an FIR as a result of which only an inquest under S. 174 Cr.PC was started, in a case of cold-blooded murder as is evidenced from photographs of the deceased …”

Related: Dramatic events in Kurnool as CBI visits hospital to arrest Avinash

Case in a nutshell

Vivekananda Reddy was an MLA of Pulivendula Constituency in 1985 and 1994, and a Member of Lok Sabha from Kadapa Parliamentary Constituency in 1999 and 2004.

He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2009. He served as minister of agriculture and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, Environment & Forest constituted by the Union government in the year 2005.

He was found murdered in the bathroom of his house in Pulivendula in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh on the intervening night of 14-15 March, 2019, just weeks before the general and Assembly elections.

After the murder, the police registered an FIR in Pulivendula Urban Police Station with crime number 84/2019 initially under Section 174 Cr.Pc based on the complaint of MV Krishna Reddy, who was the Personal Assistant of the deceased and subsequently the Section of law was altered to 302 IPC.

As many as three Special Investigation Teams (SIT) set up by the then-state government probed the case, which was later taken over by the CBI.

The CBI filed a charge sheet in the murder case on 26 October, 2021 and followed it up with a supplementary charge sheet on 31 January, 2022.

YS Vivekananda Reddy was the brother of late YS Rajasekhar Reddy, former chief minister of united Andhra Pradesh and father of current Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Accused No 8 in the case, Avinash Reddy is also a nephew of Viveka.