Viveka murder case: CBI affidavit in Avinash Reddy bail hearing says Jagan among first to be informed of death

The high court resumed the hearing on 26 May as it had little time the previous day. CBI's arguments will be heard on 27 May.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published May 27, 2023 | 12:08 AM Updated May 27, 2023 | 9:29 AM

Avinash Reddy's anticipatory bail plea hearing is ongoing in the Telangana High Court. (Creative Commons)

The Telangana High Court on Friday, 26 May, heard arguments of the counsels for Kadapa MP Avinash Reddy and Dr Narreddy Sunitha Reddy on the petition of the former for anticipatory bail in connection with the murder of former Andhra Pradesh minister YS Vivekananda Reddy at his residence on 15 March, 2019.

The high court resumed the hearing on the morning of 26 May as it had little time the previous day. However, Avinash Reddy’s counsel’s arguments went on till after lunch, leaving little scope for conclusion of arguments on Friday.

In fact, counsel for Sunitha — who is Vivekananda’s daughter — sought as much time as Avinash’s counsel used and declined to accept the proposal to have the case adjourned to a date after the summer vacation.

The high court then said that it would hear Sunitha’s counsel on Friday itself and the CBI’s arguments the next day.

The high court began hearing the case on Thursday, after a direction from the Supreme Court to this effect.

Also Read: Standoff over Avinash Reddy arrest continues in Kurnool

CBI intent questioned

Avinash’s counsel argued that the CBI was accusing his client of removing evidence from the scene of the murder without specifying what that evidence was.

Avinash’s counsel said that the investigation agency had already collected all evidence there is to collect and said that Sunitha and her husband had hidden the letter that Vivekananda Reddy had asked his driver Dastagiri to write for him before his death.

Those who had cleaned up the room where his body was found did not mention Avinash Reddy’s name, he added.

He also questioned the veracity of the CBI’s argument that ₹1 crore, which Dastagiri had said accused Gangi Reddy had received, was from Avinash Reddy. He questioned whether Gangi Reddy said that he had received the money from Avinash Reddy.

On the accusation that Avinash Reddy had influenced the witnesses, the counsel wanted to know if any case had been registered in any police station to this effect.

He also wanted to know why the CBI was enacting a drama at the hospital in Kurnool where Avinash’s mother has been admitted for treatment. If the CBI really wanted to arrest him, how come it waited for so long, he asked.

Also Read: SC stays Telangana HC order directing release of Gangi Reddy

Against Avinash Reddy

Senior counsel L Ravichander, appearing for Sunitha, said that each time the CBI issued notices, Avinash had come up with one excuse after the other. Once he said he had to attend the Parliament session, then he filed a petition in the high court, then again another petition seeking anticipatory bail, and now his mother is unwell, noted the senior counsel.

He said that Avinash Reddy was a powerful MP and that he had filed an anticipatory bail petition knowing fully well that the investigation has almost come to an end.

He brought to the court’s attention that several people staged protests at the hospital, effectively preventing anyone from entering the hospital.

In its supplementary affidavit filed with the high court on 26 May, the CBI said that the Supreme Court has given directions to it to complete the investigation by 30 June, 2023, and Avinash Reddy was deliberately avoiding the investigation and creating hindrances in completing the probe.

Therefore, Avinash Reddy’s anticipatory bail application was liable to be dismissed on the grounds explained above, the CBI said.

Also Read: Viveka murder case: Avinash Reddy skips CBI questioning again

‘Jagan Mohan informed of death’

The CBI has said that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Viveka’s nephew, had been informed about the death of his uncle and in the early hours of March 15, 2019, much before the information about the death broke out around 6.15 am the same day.

In its supplementary affidavit, the CBI said that Avinash Reddy was active before and after the commission of the murder and his role in informing about the death of Viveka to Jagan Mohan Reddy was to be investigated.

That apart, Y Sunil Yadav, one of the perpetrators of the crime, was inside the house of Avinash Reddy at 1.58 am on March 15. Avinash Reddy was engaged on WhatsApp voice calls and it needs to be investigated further for which his examination in police custody is required.

On 15 May, the CBI issued a notice to Avinash Reddy under Section 160 CrPc to appear before it in Hyderabad on 16 May at 11 am. However, Avinash Reddy did not appear before CBI and requested four days’ time citing his prior engagements in his constituency.

Thereafter, on 16 May,  notice under Section 160 CrPc was again issued to Avinash to appear before the CBI in Hyderabad on 19 May at 11 am.

However, he did not appear before CBI, citing the reason that his mother is ill, and intimated that he will come for investigation once his mother is fully recovered

On 19 May, Avinash Reddy proceeded towards Pulivendula. He later got his mother admitted in the Viswa Bharathi hospital in Kurnool. he was again summoned on 22 May, but failed to appear before the CBI again.

A CBI team proceeded to Vishwa Bharti Hospital, Kurnool in order to arrest Avinash Reddy. Since there was apprehension of law and order problem from Avinash Reddy’s supporters who assembled at the hospital and also blocked entry, police assistance from Kurnool Superintendent of Police was sought for arresting Avinash Reddy.