Viveka murder case: Kadapa MP again appears before CBI

Kadapa MP Y.S. Avinash Reddy on Tuesday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case pertaining to the murder of his uncle and former Andhra Pradesh minister Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy.

Avinash Reddy, cousin of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, appeared before the CBI officials in Hyderabad. A team of officials of the central agency headed by Superintendent of Police (SP) Ram Singh was questioning him.

The MP of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) reached the CBI office along with his aides. This is the fourth time that the CBI was questioning him.

The MP had earlier appeared before the CBI on January 28, February 24 and March 10 for questioning.

The Lok Sabha member had sought exemption from appearance due to ongoing Parliament session, but the CBI did not respond to his letter. He had also sought exemption in view of the hearing of his petition by the Telangana High Court, but the court refused to intervene.

The High Court on Monday reserved orders on the petition seeking directions to the CBI not to take coercive steps against him. Justice K. Lakshman extended the earlier interim orders directing the CBI not to take coercive steps against him till the pronouncement of the order.

Avinash Reddy contended that the CBI was trying to project him as the main conspirator.

His Acounsel T. Niranjan Reddy argued that the CBI was not investigating the role of N. Rajasekhar Reddy, son-in-law of Vivekananda Reddy and his second wife Shamim. He told the court that Vivekananda Reddy had married Shamim in 2010 and they had a son. As a result of his second marriage, his family had differences, including over financial transactions. Vivekananda Reddy was killed due to property disputes with his family, senior counsel argued and asked the CBI to investigate this angle.

Avinash Reddy also denied that he never gave a statement that Vivekananda Reddy had died due to heart attack.

The CBI submitted to High Court the case diary in a sealed cover. The testimony of 35 witnesses, 10 documents, some photographs and hard disks were placed before the court, apart from the letter found at the crime scene and FSL report. The CBI counsel submitted that Avinash Reddy was also accused of destroying evidence in the case.

Vivekananda Reddy, younger brother of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was found murdered mysteriously at his residence at Pulivendula in Kadapa district on March 15, 2019, a month ahead of 2019 general elections.

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 YSR Congress Party’s election campaign in Kadapa.

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 Sunitha Reddy, who raised suspicion about some relatives.

In November last year, the Supreme Court transferred to a CBI court in Hyderabad the trial and probe into the larger conspiracy behind the murder. The apex court observed that doubts raised by Sunitha Reddy about getting a fair trial and investigation in Andhra Pradesh were reasonable.

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