The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has approached the Supreme Court for cancellation of bail given to Yerra Gangi Reddy, a prime suspect in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh Minister YS Vivekananda Reddy. The probe agency has filed a petition in the apex court challenging the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissing its plea to cancel the bail granted to Gangi Reddy by a lower court.
The High Court, in March, had 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.
A single judge bench had asked the CBI to show evidence that Gangi Reddy violated the conditions subject to which he was let out on bail.
The CBI had argued that then inspector of Pulivendula J Shankaraiah and two others initially agreed to give statements before the magistrate, but later turned hostile. It had also told the court that Sheik Dastagiri, who turned approver in the case, stated that he was threatened by those involved in the murder.
The court was not convinced by the CBI's arguments in favour of cancellation of the bail. The judge observed that the agency failed to provide substantial evidence to show that Gangi Reddy was either threatening or influencing key witnesses in the case.
Vivekananda Reddy, uncle of Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, was found murdered at his residence in Kadapa on March 15, 2019.
The 68-year-old former state minister was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him.
The murder took place hours before Vivekananda Reddy was to launch YSR Congress Party's election campaign in Kadapa.
Although three Special Investigation Teams (SITs) had conducted the probe, they failed to solve the mystery.
The CBI took over the investigation in 2020 on the direction of the Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing a petition of Vivekananda Reddy's daughter Sunita, 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.