Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to arrest Kadapa MP Y.S. Avinash Reddy in Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy murder case till April 25.
In its interim order on anticipatory bail petition of the MP, the court directed him to appear before the CBI daily till April 25.
The court also suggested to the CBI to audio and video record questioning of Avinash Reddy. The final order on the anticipatory bail plea will be delivered on April 25.
The CBI informed the court that it will question Avinash Reddy in the presence of his father Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy and another accused Uday Kumar Reddy.
Earlier, Avinash Reddy’s counsel T. Niranjan Reddy told the court that except the statement of Dastagiri, an accused turned approver in the case, the CBI had no evidence against Avinash.
He contended that Google Takeout data can’t be relied on during the investigation.
The MP’s counsel also told the court that there is a contradiction between Dastagiri’s statement about another accused Sunil Yadav’s movements and Google Takeout data. He argued that family problems, financial disputes or extramarital relations could be the reason for the murder.
On the CBI suspecting Avinash’s role in disappearance of evidence, the MP’s counsel submitted that since Avinash is a relative of the victim, he went to the house and helped in cleaning the room.
On the central agency’s argument that Avinash Reddy spread the word that Vivekananda Reddy died of cardiac arrest, his lawyer clarified that he only repeated what he had heard from others at the house.
The CBI opposed the anticipatory bail on the ground that it has to collect more information from him and that he is an influential person. It also told the court that during his appearance before it four times, he did not cooperate.
The CBI counsel also argued that Avinash Reddy had knowledge of murder conspiracy and it gathered scientific and technical evidence. He also clarified that there is no evidence of financial disputes or extramarital relations.
The CBI counsel also informed that the weapons used in the murder had not yet been recovered. After the murder, the accused had gone to Avinash Reddy’s house with weapons.
Counsel of Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Suneetha Reddy, who had impleaded in the case, argued that Avinash Reddy was approaching courts whenever the CBI was issuing notices to him. Accused and witnesses have already told the CBI about the role of Avinash Reddy.
The MP fears arrest in the case as his father Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy was arrested in the case on Sunday. In its petition seeking custody of Bhaskar Reddy, the CBI had named Avinash Reddy as co-accused.
Bhaskar Reddy, who was arrested in Pulivendula on Sunday, was brought to Hyderabad and produced before a magistrate, who remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the CBI court in Hyderabad on Tuesday sent Bhaskar Reddy and another accused Uday Kumar Reddy to CBI custody for six days. The accused are currently lodged in Chanchalguda Jail in Hyderabad.
The CBI has directed Avinash Reddy to appear before it on Wednesday at 10.30 a.m. The agency has conveyed to the court that it will question him in the presence of Bhaskar Reddy and Uday Kumar Reddy.
Avinash Reddy, cousin of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, has been questioned by the CBI four times during the last couple of months.
Vivekananda Reddy, brother of former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of Jagan Mohan Reddy, was found murdered at his residence in Pulivendula of Kadapa district on the night of March 15, 2019, a few days before the elections.
The 68-year-old former state minister and former MP 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 in November last year while observing that doubts raised by Suneetha Reddy about getting a fair trial and investigation in Andhra Pradesh were reasonable.