The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday granted interim protection from arrest to P Ramakrishna Reddy, the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party MLA from Macherla, till June 6 in a case related to the destruction of an Electronic Voting Machine by him, reported PTI.

On May 13, Reddy allegedly barged into polling station number 202 in the Macherla Assembly seat and damaged the Electronic Voting Machine.

Reddy is a four-time MLA from Macherla and the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party had fielded him from the seat again.

The Election Commission had directed the Andhra Pradesh Police to take “strict criminal action” against the MLA.

On Thursday, Reddy’s counsel told the High Court that his presence as a contesting candidate is required on June 4, when the votes will be counted.

Finding merit in the argument, the court said: “This court is inclined to give interim protection not to arrest the petitioner [Reddy] till the next date of hearing, June 6.”

It also directed Reddy not to repeat the offences alleged against him or be involved in any criminal activity in the meantime.

"The petitioner shall take the responsibility of his followers and see to it that no untoward incident is attempted/committed causing hindrance to public tranquillity," the court ordered.

Further, Reddy was directed Reddy to stay within the Narasaraopeta parliamentary constituency until the next hearing. He is, however, allowed to visit the vote counting station even if it is geographically outside the Lok Sabha constituency.

Reddy has reportedly been absconding since a video of him allegedly destroying the Electronic Voting Machine surfaced.

The court has asked the state Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena to have complete surveillance on Reddy’s movements during the remaining period of protection.