Viveka murder: SC transfers CBI review petition on Gangi Reddy bail to Telangana HC

Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the hearing on a review petition against the bail granted to Gangi Reddy to the Telangana High Court

Vivekananda Reddy

NEW DELHI: In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the transfer of the hearing on a review petition against the bail granted to Gangi Reddy in YS Vivekananda Reddy murder case, to the Telangana High Court. The apex court ruling came on a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking the cancellation of the bail to the main accused.

A Supreme Court division bench headed by Justice M R Shah also ordered a fresh hearing in the Telangana High Court on an Andhra Pradesh lower court’s decision to grant bail to Gangi Reddy. In an earlier development, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has upheld the lower court ruling in this connection.

The issue of bail cancellation should be settled in the Telangana High Court since the trial of the main case has already been transferred to Telangana, the Supreme Court observed. On November 29, 2022, the apex court transferred the trial of the high-profile murder case from Andhra Pradesh to a CBI special court in Telangana, following allegations made by the widow of YS Vivekananda Reddy and his daughter.

The Supreme Court found fault with the granting of the default bail to Gangi Reddy by the lower courts and observed that it was inappropriate to not take cognizance of the merits of the case, merely based on the premise that the chargesheet was not filed in the non-bailable offence.

“The matter of bail should be heard afresh based on the merits of the case,” the apex court ruled. It also stressed on the scope to cancel the default bail in the event of the accused not cooperating with the investigation of the case.

“Since the chargesheet was not filed within the prescribed 90 days, the question has arisen on whether the bail be cancelled post the filing of the chargesheet. Once a person was released on a default bail, there is no bar on rejecting it, based on the merit point of his non-cooperation with the investigation and other factors. The person is accused of a non-bailable offence. So, only merit has to be taken into consideration for the granting of a bail to him,” the Supreme Court remarked.

The apex court also made critical comments on the failure of the CBI to file the chargesheet in time. “Failure to file the chargesheet when the evidences are strong in the case is not a right practice,” the Supreme Court division bench said.

The division bench then remanded the CBI petition to the Telangana High Court for a review of the default bail granted to Gangi Reddy, as per due procedure and based on merits. The next hearing on the matter should be held in the Telangana High Court, ruled the Supreme Court.

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