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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Andhra Pradesh High Court grants interim protection from arrest to YSRCP MLA who smashed EVM

Reddy's lawyer reasoned that the MLA's presence is required to appoint polling agents and also to 'monitor' the vote counting process on June 4

PTI Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) Published 24.05.24, 03:03 PM
P Ramakrishna Reddy

P Ramakrishna Reddy File

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has granted interim protection from arrest to 'absconding' Macherla YSRCP MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy in a case relating to the smashing of an EVM till June 6, considering various reasons, including him being a candidate for the Assembly election.

On polling day - May 13-, Reddy, also the YSRCP candidate from Macherla Assembly seat, allegedly barged into polling station number 202 in the constituency and smashed an EVM.

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This entire act was caught on a web camera installed by the Election Commission, leading to his identification with footage and documentary evidence.

The High Court passed the interim protection orders late on Thursday night, following a petition moved by Reddy seeking protection from arrest.

Finding merit in the MLA's argument that his presence as a contesting candidate is required on June 4, when the votes will be counted, the court granted the interim protection.

"This court is inclined to give interim protection not to arrest the petitioner (Reddy) till the next date of hearing, June 6," said the High Court order, issuing a bunch of restrictions.

Reddy's lawyer reasoned that the MLA's presence is required to appoint polling agents and also to 'monitor' the vote counting process on June 4.

However, the court ordered Reddy not to involve in any criminal activity or repeat the offences alleged against him, including law and order issues in the district (Palnadu) in the meanwhile.

"The petitioner (Reddy) shall take the responsibility of his followers and see to it that no untoward incident is attempted/ committed causing hindrance to public tranquility," the court ordered, among other restrictions.

Further, the court directed Reddy to stay within the Parliamentary constituency, Narasaraopeta, until the next hearing but allowed him to visit the vote counting station even if it is geographically outside the Lok Sabha constituency.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh police are still clueless about the whereabouts of the MLA who is on the run, an official told PTI on Friday.

Moreover, the court ordered Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena to direct police to have complete surveillance on the movements of Reddy during the remaining period of protection.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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