Telangana HC’s bail to accused in ex-Andhra minister’s murder inherently contradictory: CBI to SC

The CBI on Wednesday termed the Telangana High Court’s grant of bail to an accused in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy “inherently contradictory” as it told the Supreme Court it supported a plea challenging this verdict.

A vacation bench of Justices P S Narasimha and Pankaj Mithal was hearing a petition filed by Reddy’s daughter, Suneetha Narreddy, challenging the high court order granting conditional bail to T Gangi Reddy alias Yerra Gangi Reddy, even as it allowed a plea for its cancellation.

“We have never heard of it that the order which cancels the bail allows the bail. How is it possible? Inherently contradictory,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the CBI, told the bench.

On May 18, the top court had issued notices to the CBI and the accused on the plea challenging the high court order.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the ASG told the bench, “I appear for the CBI. We support the petition. We seek to file our counter affidavit by tomorrow,” as he urged the bench to hear the matter on Friday.

“We will pass a balanced order. We will not deprive him of any freedom that he may have to file a bail application and seek bail,” the bench observed.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Suneetha, said, “In a cancellation of bail, how can bail be granted.”

During the hearing, the bench referred to the last portion of the high court’s order, which had directed the trial court to enlarge the accused on bail on July 1 on his executing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties of the same amount each.

The ASG said it “annihilates the whole order”.

The counsel appearing for the accused told the bench that they too had filed a plea in the apex court against the high court’s April 27 order cancelling the bail.

“You serve a copy of this (petition) because if he has challenged the correctness of this order, then we will have to hear him. It would not be proper for us to set it aside and then tomorrow take up your application. We will take up both the matters together,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on May 26.

In its April 27 order, the high court had said, “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 ….”

“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 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.

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

The CBI had initially moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking the cancellation of bail. The high court 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 to consider it 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.

Also Read

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.

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 had 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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