The court was hearing a fresh petition filed by Sunitha, the daughter of Vivekananda Reddy, who was also CM Jagan’s uncle.

Why cant Vivekananda Reddy case be handed to CBI HC asks Andhra govt to explain
news Crime Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 09:02

In the latest development in the murder probe of former MP, YS Vivekananda Reddy, the High Court has sought an explanation from the government as to why the case cannot be handed over to the CBI. The court was hearing a fresh petition seeking a CBI probe filed by Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Sunitha, who has raised suspicions about the ongoing SIT investigation. 

Sunitha has reportedly questioned the delay in the probe, and the reasons for changing the SIT members. According to The New Indian Express, Justice Durgaprasada Rao pointed out the fact that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy himself had previously demanded a CBI inquiry in the case, expressing doubts over police investigation when he was Opposition Leader. Sunitha has also reportedly questioned why CM Jagan, her cousin, had not requested a CBI probe more than eight months after coming to power. 

The petitioners have reportedly named several people who were present at the crime scene and were suspected to have been involved in destroying evidence, and expressed dissatisfaction with the SIT for not including these persons in the probe, according to Times of India

According to Deccan Chroniclethe petitioners raised suspicion on 15 people while refraining from making specific accusation. The names include D Siva Sankar Reddy, Parameswar Reddy, late Srinivasa Reddy, YS Bhaskar Reddy, YS Manohar Reddy, YS Avinash Reddy, CI Sankaraiah, ASI Ramakrishna Reddy, former minister Adinarayana Reddy among others. 

Previously, Adinarayana Reddy had also sought a CBI probe. Sunitha had expressed suspicion over his role as he was the Lok Sabha MP candidate from Kadapa for the TDP, while her father was an aspirant for the ticket, from the YSRCP. The state BJP has also filed a petition demanding a CBI probe. 

The counsel for the government has reportedly responded by claiming that the SIT probe is at an advanced stage, making CBI intervention unnecessary. The court, however, has asked the government to file an affidavit, posting the case for next hearing on February 6. 

Vivekananda Reddy, a former MP, was murdered on March 15, 2019 at his home in Pulivendula. The incident had triggered a huge uproar in the state which was witnessing intense political battles before the elections. 

While initially it was believed that the politician had suffered a cardiac arrest and succumbed, police confirmed after investigation that the two-time MP was murdered. Vivekananda had injury marks on his head, hands and back. 

Jagan, who was then Leader of the Opposition, demanded a CBI probe and alleged Chandrababu Naidu's involvement in the murder. Shortly after Naidu was voted out and when one of the suspects in the murder died, Chandrababu did a volte-face and also sought a CBI inquiry into the murder.