Viveka murder case: As YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy skips interrogation, CBI asks him to appear on 19 May

Avinash Reddy sent a message to the CBI seeking four days extension as he was preoccupied with several engagements.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published May 16, 2023 | 2:03 PMUpdatedMay 16, 2023 | 5:54 PM

YS Avinash Reddy. (Facebook)

After Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy expressed his inability in presenting himself before the CBI at 11 am on Tuesday, 16 May, and sought four more days’ time, the premier investigation agency played ball and asked him to appear on 19 May instead.

He was asked to appear for interrogation in connection with the murder of his uncle and former Andhra Pradesh minister YS Vivekananda Reddy in 2019.

Sought time to appear

The Kadapa parliamentarian sought time in response to the notice he received from CBI under section 160 of the CRPC. He said he had several engagements lined up for him and that he had to attend to them.

After sending the mail to the CBI in the morning, the YSRCP MP left for Pulivendulua in YSR district (Kadapa) in Andhra Pradesh.

As he was on his way to Pulivendula, the CBI sent him a message that he could appear before them on 19 May.

It was a great relief for him and the YSRCP workers as they were being worked up over what the CBI would do since Avinash Reddy did not present himself before them on Tuesday morning as directed.

Vivekananda Reddy, popularly known as Viveka was found murdered in his home in Kadapa on the intervening night of 14-15 March, 2019. Viveka was also the paternal uncle of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Related: Telangana HC denies Avinash anticipatory bail citing SC order

Will Avinash Reddy be arresed?

With the Telangana High Court also adjourning the hearing on his anticipatory bail petition to 5 June in view of summer vacation, without issuing any stay orders, tension has been building up over the possibility of the CBI arresting him anytime.

Accordingly, the CBI issued a notice to him to appear before it on Tuesday, which led the YSRCP cadres to suspect that the investigating agency had set the stage to arrest him.

The CBI, on 25 April, filed its counter on Avinash Reddy’s petition for anticipatory bail, in which listed out the charges and the articles of evidence against him.

Though Reddy had sought orders to restrain the CBI from arresting him for at least a few days, the court did not concede his request in the wake of the Supreme Court orders to conclude the case early.

Related: Avinash Reddy’s video about night of the murder goes viral

‘Has other evidence’

Avinash Reddy has argued that he had nothing to do with Vivekananda Reddy’s murder and that he had been set up based on the testimony of an accused, Dastagiri, who had turned an approver.

But the CBI said in its counter that it had other evidence besides Dastagiri’s statement that Avinash Reddy had a role in the murder.

The CBI said that Avinash Reddy, his father Bhaskar Reddy, Devireddy Sivasankar Reddy, Udaya Kumar Reddy, and Yerra Gangi Reddy had played key roles in destroying evidence at the residence of Vivekananda Reddy where the latter was done to death, and later tried to paint it as a case of death occurring due to cardiac arrest.

Yerra Gangi Reddy, the prime accused in the case, whose bail was cancelled by the Telangana High Court, surrendered before the CBI on 5 May.

The investigating agency then produced him before the Special Court for CBI cases after which the court remanded him to judicial custody till 2 June.

Related: Prime accused Yerra Gangi Reddy surrenders before CBI

The case so far

Bhaskar Reddy and Avinash 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 probe agency believes he had spoken to the accused before and after the murder.

According to the CBI, the father and son hatched the plot to murder Vivekananda Reddy and sheltered the accused.

Their associate Shiva Shankar played a crucial role in erasing evidence, the CBI said in a response filed before the court to oppose the bail of Sunil Yadav, who is an accused in the case.

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, Dr Narreddy Suneetha, who had in the past alleged that Avinash Reddy was hampering the CBI probe.