Murder Of Ex-CM’s Brother | SC Stays Advance Bail Order Granted By Telangana High Court To Yerra Gangi Reddy
The Supreme Court today in the Special Leave Petition filed by Dr Suneetha Nareddy, the daughter of the deceased Ex-Andhra Pradesh CM's brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy stayed the Telangana High Court order which directed the Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad, to enlarge the accused Yerra Gangi Reddy on bail on July 1, 2023.
The Vacation Bench of Justice J.K. Maheshwari and Justice P.S. Narasimha directed that the operative part of the High Court order which says: "Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad, to enlarge the petitioner on bail on July 1, 2023, on his executing a personal bond for a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One lakh only) with two sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the said Court" shall remain stayed until the next date of hearing. The Court relisted the matter for July 14, 2023.
The Supreme Court was considering the two sets of appeals impugning the same order passed by the High Court which cancelled the default bail granted to the accused and asked him to surrender but also gave a further pre-fixed date for the release of the accused on bail. The daughter of the deceased approached the Supreme Court challenging the part where the accused was granted a pre-fixed date for release while the accused challenged the part where his default bail was cancelled by the High Court.
Appearing for the deceased daughter, Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra along with Advocate-on-Record Jesal Wahi submitted that notice has already been issued and that they can oppose this without a reply. Luthra said, "The CBI has filed the counter affidavit, it says 2 things that the High Court has no power under Section 482 of CrPC to grant bail and secondly, it is a bad precedent." Luthra further said that "the order comments on the kind of investigation done by the State and it was also observed that it is a case where it seems that the State was deliberately dragging its feet to protect this gentleman."
Justice Narasimha on the appeal by the accused said that the new matter will be considered after the vacation. Senior Advocate Aman Lekhi appeared for the Accused and Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain appeared for the CBI.
The Central Bureau of Investigation in its Counter-Affidavit had submitted that the impugned order of the High Court is not only improper, wrong and beyond the pleading and relief sought, but also not in accordance with law. CBI has further stated that the impugned order has the potential to evolve a wrong precedent qua the scope of power under Section 439(2) of CrPC and that the order will not only cause prejudice to the prosecution case but also adversely affect the administration of criminal justice delivery system.
The CBI also stated that the High Court order is liable to be set aside so far as it relates to the suo-moto grant of bail with effect from July 1, 2023. On the other hand, in the SLP filed by the Accused, it was stated that the High Court by cancelling the default bail acted contrary to the order of the Supreme Court as an enquiry on merits was not undertaken.
The Accused in the SLP submitted that the statutory bail was granted by an order dated June 27, 2019, passed by the Judicial Magistrate and that the CBI appeal to cancel the default bail before the Additional District Judge, Kadapa and Andhra Pradesh High Court were dismissed. He further stated that the Supreme Court, without disturbing the findings of either the Sessions Court or the High Court, had remanded the case to be reconsidered on the merits of the allegations made against Petitioner herein.
The Supreme Court had on May 20, 2023, noticed that the High Court cancelled the default bail granted to the accused and asked him to surrender, but also gave a further pre-fixed date for the release of the accused on bail. "While cancelling the bail, the High Court says we are cancelling the bail but you will be released on bail in July," remarked the CJI while expressing his shock at the High Court's order.
In the impugned order dated April 27, 2023, the Bench of Justice Chillakur Sumalatha of the High Court of Telangana had observed that the presence of the Accused T.Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gangi Reddy outside itself sends a signal to the witnesses to shut their mouths and opined that his liberty has to be curtailed to enable CBI to proceed with the investigation. The High Court directed the accused to surrender on or before May 5, 2023, and that on his surrender, he shall be remanded to judicial custody till 30.6.2023
Further, in the same order, the High Court asked the Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad, to enlarge the petitioner on bail on July 1, 2023, on his executing a personal bond for a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One lakh only) with two sureties for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the said Court.
Cause Title: Suneetha Nareddy Vs. T. Gangi Reddy @ Yerra Gangi Reddy [Crl. Appeal No. 1251 of 2023]