Telangana High Court grants conditional anticipatory bail to Avinash Reddy

The judge directed the trial court to grant him bail, noting that the seriousness of this charge had not been adequately demonstrated by the investigating agency.
Telangana High Court
Telangana High Court

HYDERABAD: Justice M Laxman of the Telangana High Court on Wednesday granted conditional anticipatory bail to Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy in connection with the YS Vivekananda Reddy murder case. In his orders, the judge said that if the petitioner was arrested by the CBI, he will be released on bail upon executing a personal bond of `5 lakh with two sureties of like amount each, subject to the satisfaction of the CBI.

Avinash Reddy was also prohibited from leaving the country without prior permission from the CBI, tampering with prosecution witnesses or altering any evidence related to the case. The judge directed the MP to fully cooperate with the inquiry and be present before the CBI sleuths every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm until the end of June 2023. Any breach of these conditions may result in the CBI seeking the cancellation of the MP’s anticipatory bail.

The bail petition filed by Avinash Reddy was pending for two months and had undergone multiple rounds of hearings in the High Court and the Supreme Court. The case eventually reached Justice M Laxman, who concluded the hearing after considering the arguments presented by Avinash Reddy, the CBI, and Dr Suneetha, the intervener and daughter of Vivekananda Reddy.

Justice Laxman, in his ruling, stated that there was no evidence or even an allegation that Avinash Reddy had obstructed the investigation. The CBI had accused Avinash of involvement in the destruction of evidence. The judge directed the trial court to grant him bail, noting that the seriousness of this charge had not been adequately demonstrated by the investigating agency.

During the hearing, the MP raised concerns about the CBI relying heavily on the confession of Sheikh Dastagiri, an accused in the case who later turned an approver. Avinash Reddy’s attorney argued that there was no evidence against his client apart from Dastagiri’s testimony. Counsel also highlighted that the four assailants involved in the murder had personal grievances against Vivekananda Reddy, having previously worked for him. Counsel also mentioned Vivekananda Reddy’s second marriage and suggested that his daughter and son-in-law may have held a grudge related to the marriage and potentially had property-related motivations.

He mentioned Vivekananda Reddy’s last letter, in which he accused his driver of murder. The CBI, on the other hand, referred this letter to a forensic examination, which revealed that the killers forced him to write it under duress. The CBI said that the perpetrators had acted on directions from Avinash Reddy and his father based on Google Takeout and other circumstantial evidence. It also obtained an Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) analysis and informed the court that Avinash Reddy was quite active on WhatsApp calls and conversations right before and after Vivekareddy’s murder. It also stated that it wished to question Avinash Reddy in custody to learn who notified AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy about the murder long before the news became public. 

The judge questioned the CBI about why it did not seize Avinash’s phone till now.  He also asked why the investigation agency was unable to collect the property documents allegedly stolen by the intruders from Vivekananda Reddy’s, despite a statement to that effect by Dastagiri himself. 

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