Viveka murder: SC stays Telangana HC’s pre arrest bail to Yerra Gangi Reddy

Hyderabad Desk

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Telangana High Court order directing the special judge for CBI cases, Hyderabad, to enlarge Yerra Gangi Reddy, accused in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh minister Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, on bail on July 1.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, representing Suneetha Nareddy daughter of Vivekananda Reddy, submitted before a bench comprising Justices J.K. Maheshwari and Justice P.S. Narasimha that the CBI in its counter says two things: the high court has no power under Section 482 of CrPC to grant bail and it is a bad precedent.

On the last day of hearing, earlier this week, additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain, representing the CBI, submitted before the apex court, “We have never heard of it that the order which cancels the bail, allows the bail. How is it possible?” He added, “inherently contradictory”.

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The bench said that the operative part of the high court order which directed the CBI court, Hyderabad, to enlarge the petitioner on bail on July 1, 2023, on his executing a personal bond for a sum of Rs 1 Lakh with two sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction, shall remain stayed until the next date of hearing. Senior advocate Aman Lekhi appeared for Yerra Gangi Reddy.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Suneetha Narreddy, challenging the high court order granting conditional bail to T. Gangi Reddy alias Yerra Gangi Reddy, while allowing a plea for bail cancellation. The court on May 18 had issued notices to the CBI and the accused on the plea against the high court order.

The accused has also challenged the cancellation of bail by the high court, which has been scheduled by the apex court for hearing in the second week of July.

The Telangana High Court on April 27 cancelled the bail of Yerra Gangi Reddy, the prime accused in the murder case of former Andhra Pradesh minister Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy. It directed him to surrender before the CBI court by May 5. The court also clarified that if the accused failed to surrender, the CBI may arrest him.

It ruled that as the CBI is scheduled to complete the hearing on June 30, Gangi Reddy may be granted bail on July 1 on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh. The Supreme Court had recently extended the deadline for completing the investigation into the sensational case till June 30.

Vivekananda Reddy, brother of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was murdered at his residence in Pulivendula of Kadapa district on March 15, 2019, weeks before elections. The 68-year-old was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him.

The CBI took over the investigation into the case in 2020 on the direction of Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing a petition of Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Suneetha Reddy, who raised suspicion about some relatives. The Supreme Court transferred the case to Hyderabad while observing that doubts raised by Suneetha Reddy about getting a fair trial and investigation in Andhra Pradesh were reasonable.

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