Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday dismissed the bail petitions of three accused in the murder of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle and former minister Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy.
Justice D. Ramesh refused to grant bail to Sunil Yadav, Uma Shankar Reddy, and Devireddy Shiva Shankar Reddy – the second, third,and fifth accused in the case respectively.
Two of the accused had sought bail on health grounds. The orders on the bail petitions were reserved on June 29.
Uma Shankar Reddy’s counsel had submitted to the court that as the accused number one, said to be the main conspirator of the crime and fourth accused, who participated in the crime and later turned approver are out on the bail, the remaining accused who allegedly played only supporting role in the crime also entitled to bail.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, opposed the bail pleas, saying the accused were party to the entire conspiracy. It argued that if the accused are released on bail, the ongoing investigation will get affected.
Counsel of Sunitha, daughter of Vivekananda Reddy, also opposed the bail petitions.
Last week, the CBI approached the Supreme Court for cancellation of the bail given to Yerra Gangi Reddy, the prime suspect in the case.
The investigating agency filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissing its plea to cancel the bail granted to Gangi Reddy by a lower court.
The High Court in March dismissed the CBI’s petition. The central agency wanted the bail to be cancelled on the ground that Gangi Reddy was allegedly threatening some witnesses in the case.
Vivekananda Reddy, uncle of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, was found murdered at his residence in Kadapa on March 15, 2019, a few days before the election.
The 68-year-old former state minister and former MP was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him. He was killed hours before he was to launch the YSR Congress Party’s election campaign in Kadapa.
Though three Special Investigation Teams (SITs) conducted the probe, they failed to solve the mystery.
The CBI took over the investigation into the case in 2020 on the direction of the Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing a petition of Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Sunitha, who raised suspicion about some relatives.
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