The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered shifting of the trial in the murder of former Andhra Pradesh minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy from the state to the CBI Special Court in Hyderabad, Telangana, finding substance in contentions that a fair trial may not be possible in AP.
A bench presided by Justice M R Shah also asked the CBI to complete at the earliest the probe into the larger conspiracy in an independent and unbiased manner. The SC order came on a petition by Vivekananda’s daughter Suneeetha Narreddy and her mother.
Reddy, who had switched from Indian National Congress to YSR Congress, was hacked to death at his residence in Pulivendula on March 15, 2019. The CBI took over the case following Andhra Pradesh High Court’s order in March 2020.
The SC said that “considering the facts and circumstances, it cannot be said that the apprehension on the part of the petitioners, being daughter and wife of the deceased, that there may not be fair trial and there may not be independent and fair investigation with respect to further investigation on larger conspiracy and destruction of evidence at the scene of the crime, is imaginary and/or has no substance at all”.
It added that the petitioners have a fundamental right to get justice and legitimate expectation that the criminal trial is conducted in a fair manner. “Under the circumstances, we are of the opinion that this is a case to transfer the trial and other investigation on larger conspiracy and destruction of evidence, by a State other than the State of Andhra Pradesh…looking into the large number of witnesses to be examined during the trial and no hardship is caused to those witnesses, we are of the opinion that the trial be transferred to CBI Special Court Hyderabad,” the SC ordered.