Dr Narreddy Suneetha Reddy has approached the Supreme Court challenging the 31 May Telangana High Court order granting anticipatory bail to YSR Congress Party’s Lok Sabha member YS Avinash Reddy, an accused in the 2019 murder of her father, YS Vivekananda Reddy.
Vivekanand Reddy — popularly known as Viveka — was the uncle of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the brother of the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Challenging the high court order on various counts, the petitioner in her interim prayer sought an “ex-parte ad interim” stay of the 31 May judgment and the order granting anticipatory bail to Avinash Reddy. He represents Kadappa in the Lok Sabha.
Suneetha also sought time for the CBI to complete the investigation into the larger conspiracy behind Viveka’s murder. On 24 April, the top court directed the CBI to conclude the probe by 30 June.
‘High court ignored evidence’
The petition alleged 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, disregarding the evidence collected by the CBI.
Alleging non-cooperation by Avinash Reddy in the investigation, the petition said that he did not appear before the investigating agency on the last three occasions despite issuing notices.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra mentioned the matter for an early listing before a vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal, but since it was not a part of the list of the mentioned matters for Thursday, 8 June, the bench asked him to mention it on Friday.
The petitioner alleged that Avinash Reddy along with the other accused “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 said that Avinash Reddy had in fact “pressurised the police not to register an FIR as a result of which only an inquest under Section 174 CrPC was started, in a case of cold-blooded murder as is evidenced from photographs of the deceased …”.
The CBI took over the investigation in July 2020 based on an Andhra Pradesh High Court directive. The case was earlier registered at a police station at Pulivendula in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district.
Viveka represented the Kadapa constituency in the Lok Sabha.
The crime trail
Viveka was murdered in his bathroom in his house in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh on 15 March 2019. He was then 67.
Avinash Reddy’s and his father Bhaskar Reddy’s names figured in the murder case that created a sensation before the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh in 2019.
Bhaskar Reddy has been charged under Sections 120B (conspiracy), 302 (murder), and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as he played a crucial role in the case, according to the CBI.
The CBI also said that a ₹40 crore “supari” (contract to kill) was offered to the accused to eliminate Viveka.
The Supreme Court last November transferred the case from Andhra Pradesh to a Special CBI Court in Hyderabad for investigation and trial into the conspiracy behind the murder case.
The apex court’s decision came on a petition by Viveka’s daughter, Suneetha, who alleged that Avinash Reddy was hampering the CBI probe.
Suneetha was also instrumental in having the investigation, which a Special Investigation Team was probing set up by the Andhra Pradesh police, transferred to the CBI.
The CBI, in its counter filed in the high court, opposing anticipatory bail to YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy, mentioned about his mobile phone calls from 6 pm on 14 March to 8 am on 15 March, 2019.