HC grants interim relief to YSRCP MLA in EVM sabotage case

The Uncut

Amravati: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has granted interim protection from arrest till June 6 to YSR Congress ‘absconding’ MLA from Macherla Ramakrishna Reddy in the EVM damaging case. The court gave this decision on the basis of various reasons including his being a candidate in the assembly elections.

Reddy, the YSR Congress candidate from Macherla, is accused of entering polling booth number 202 on polling day on May 13 and damaging the EVM. The entire incident was recorded in a web camera installed by the Election Commission, which led to his identification based on photographs and documentary evidence.

The High Court passed the order of interim protection from arrest on Thursday night on Reddy’s petition. Reddy had pleaded for protection from arrest. The court accepted the MLA’s plea that being a candidate, his presence at the counting venue on the counting day on June 4 is necessary and granted him interim protection from arrest.

“This court is inclined to grant interim protection from arrest to the petitioner (Reddy) till the next hearing on June 6,” the court said in an order issued with several restrictions. Reddy’s counsel argued that the MLA’s presence was needed on the counting day on June 4 for the appointment of election agent and “monitoring” the counting process.

However, the court ordered Reddy not to indulge in any criminal activity or repeat the allegations levelled against him. The court also said that he should not create a law and order situation in the district (Palnadu).

The court ordered that Reddy will remain in his parliamentary constituency Narsaropeta till the next hearing, but he can go to the counting centre if it is geographically outside the Lok Sabha constituency. Meanwhile, an official told PTI on Friday that the Andhra Pradesh Police is yet to know where the MLA is.

The court asked Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena to direct the police to keep a strict vigil on Reddy’s movements during the period of protection from arrest.

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