A bench of Justices MR Shah and MM Sundresh accepted the arguments of senior advocate Sidharth Luthra on behalf of the two women and said there was substance in the allegations about not getting a fair trial at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and directed the case file and trial to be transferred to a special CBI court in Hyderabad.
“The petitioners being daughter and wife of the deceased have a fundamental right to get justice as victims and they have a legitimate expectation that criminal trial is being conducted in a fair and impartial manner and uninfluenced by any extraneous considerations. Under the circumstances, we are of the opinion that this is a fit case to transfer the trial and further investigation on larger conspiracy and destruction of evidence to a state other than Andhra Pradesh,” the bench said.
Writing the judgment, Justice Shah said, “If the criminal trial is not free and fair and if it is biased, judicial fairness and the criminal justice system would be at stake, shaking the confidence of the public in the system. However, at the same time, looking at the large number of witnesses to be examined during the trial and to avoid hardship to those witnesses, we are of the opinion that instead of transferring the trial to New Delhi, it may be transferred to CBI Special Court at Hyderabad.”
The SC also directed the CBI to expeditiously complete the further investigation in the murder case FIR, on the larger conspiracy and destruction of evidence, independently and in an unbiased manner.
Vivekananda Reddy, brother of ex-CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of present CM Jaganmohan Reddy, was brutally murdered on the intervening night of March 14-15, 2019. Jagan Reddy had moved the HC for a CBI probe into it. But, strangely after he won the elections and became the CM, he withdrew the plea for a CBI probe. On the intervention of the widow and daughter, the HC had ordered a CBI probe into the case.
It was alleged by petitioners before the SC that though the role of YSRCP MP YS Avinash Reddy came to light in the murder case, he has not yet been arrested. They alleged influential people are using all kinds of tactics to scuttle the investigation with the aim to shield Avinash Reddy and his close associate D Shiv Shankar Reddy. They also mentioned about the mysterious death of witnesses and some others being won over to turn hostile.