The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party MP Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju should be taken to the Secunderabad Army Hospital for a medical inspection amid allegations of custodial torture, reported Live Law.
The YSR Congress leader had moved the court for bail in the case and had alleged that the Andhra Pradesh CID had “beaten him mercilessly in custody”. The politician had also claimed that the case was fuelled by political vendetta, according to The Indian Express.
Raju, who has been critical of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in the past few months, was arrested on May 14 from his residence in Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh’s Crime Investigation Department officials said that Raju had been engaged in delivering “hate speeches against certain communities and promoting disaffection against the government”.
A division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai passed the order in a special leave petition that was moved by Raju. The YSR Congress leader had first moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which refused to entertain his plea and asked him to approach the sessions court.
However, the Supreme Court directed medical examination after taking note of the magistrate’s report of injuries on Raju’s body and the heart surgery he underwent last year, reported Live Law.
The court also directed that the medical examination must be done in the presence of a judicial officer that the High Court will nominate. The inspection must be video-recorded and the reports should be submitted in the court in a sealed cover.
Raju, who was asked to bear the cost of the treatment, would remain in hospital until the court’s further orders and this would be treated as judicial custody, the Supreme Court said.
The case will be taken up again on May 21.
During the hearing, Raju’s counsel, advocate Mukul Rohatgi, sought an ad interim bail and a medical examination. The court was informed that the politician had an open heart surgery last year.
Raju never called for arms to be taken up or incited violence, a requirement for sedition charges, his counsel told the court, reported Bar and Bench.
“The accused had applied for cancellation of bail granted to the Chief Minister [Jagan Mohan Reddy],” Raju’s counsel said. “This had wide ramifications.” The counsel had also asked if Raju could travel to the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, for the check-up.
The MP from Narsapuram was booked under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The arrest came days after Raju approached a special Central Bureau of Investigation court to cancel the bail granted to Reddy in a 2012 disproportionate assets case.
The case against Reddy was about allegations of criminal conspiracy following which the Enforcement Directorate had attached the chief minister’s property worth nearly Rs 2,500 crore in 2016. The ED’s investigation had shown that several investments were made in his company after his father YS Rajashekara Reddy was made chief minister in 2004.