SC issues notice to CBI on plea challenging grant of bail to accused in murder case of ex-Andhra minister

 A Telangana High Court order granting bail to an accused in the murder case of former Andhra Pradesh minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy on Thursday came under the scanner of the Supreme Court which issued notices to the CBI and the accused.

“What is this order? The High Court cancels bail and then grants it saying he be released on July 1 as the Supreme Court had asked the CBI to conclude investigation by June 30,” a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Suneetha Narreddy, daughter of the deceased, challenging the high court order granting conditional bail to accused T Gangi Reddy alias Yerra Gangi Reddy while allowing the plea for cancellation of the same.

“Accused No.1 (T Gangi Reddy) is directed to surrender on or before may 05, 2023. On his surrender, he shall be remanded to judicial custody till June 30, 2023 which is the outer limit fixed by the Supreme Court for completion of investigation by CBI …,” the Telangana High Court said in its April 27 order.

“In case, the accused … fails to surrender before the court concerned on or before the said date, CBI is at liberty to take him into custody as provided under law and produce him before the court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad. The Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad, is directed to enlarge the petitioner on bail on July 01, 2023, on his executing a personal bond for a sum of Rs one lakh with two sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the said court,” the high court had further ordered.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Suneetha, said a strange order was passed where the bail was cancelled and granted simultaneously.

Irked and surprised over the order, the bench said, “Issue notice, returnable in the week commencing May 22, 2023. Liberty to serve the Standing Counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation, in addition. The first respondent shall be served through the Superintendent of Jail where he is presently lodged.”

Earlier, the top court had transferred the pleas seeking cancellation of bail of Gangi Reddy from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana High Court for fresh adjudication.

The CBI had initially moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking cancellation of bail and the high court had held there were no legal grounds to cancel it.

The probe agency had then moved the top court which on January 16 transferred the matter to the Telangana High Court for considering its afresh on merits.

The CBI is also probing the role of YSR Congress Party Lok Sabha member Y S Avinash Reddy in the case.

Avinash Reddy is a nephew of Y S Vivekananda Reddy and Andhra Pradesh Chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s cousin.

Earlier on April 21, the top court had also termed as “atrocious and unacceptable” the HC order and stayed the protection from arrest granted till April 25 to Avinash Reddy in the murder of Vivekananda Reddy.

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Vivekananda Reddy, one of the brothers of the late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, was found murdered at his residence in Pulivendula in Kadapa district on the night of March 15, 2019, weeks before the Assembly elections in the state.

Avinash Reddy had filed the anticipatory bail petition in the high court ahead of appearing before the CBI.

His father Y S Bhaskar Reddy, uncle of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, was arrested by the CBI on April 16 in connection with the murder of Vivekananda Reddy.

The murder case was initially probed by a special investigation team (SIT) of the state CID but was handed over to the CBI in July 2020.

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

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