EVM smashing case: SC bars Andhra MLA from entering counting centre

 

by IANS | Mon, Jun 03, 2024, 01:00 PM

New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday castigated YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) legislator Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, who was caught on camera smashing an EVM inside a polling booth in Andhra Pradesh and barred him from entering the counting station.


After perusal of the video footage of the incident, a bench presided over by Justice Aravind Kumar observed that allegations of smashing an EVM to the ground amounts to “sheer mockery of the system”, adding that if the order granting interim protection if not stayed, the same would be a mockery of the entire justice system.


In its order, the Bench, also comprising Justice Sandeep Kumar, took note of the undertaking given by senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Ramakrishna Reddy, that the YSRCP Macherla MLA would not enter the counting station and its vicinity on Tuesday.


Further, the apex court asked the Andhra Pradesh High Court to decide the pleas for anticipatory bail on merits without being influenced by its earlier observations granting interim protection.


In an interim order passed on May 23, the Andhra Pradesh High Court barred police from taking any action against him till June 5 in the case relating to the destruction of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) during polling.


Against this, a plea was filed by a polling agent of Telugu Desam Party before the Supreme Court alleging that by using his influence, Ramakrishna Reddy made the VRO to lodge a report as if unknown persons damaged the EVMs in the polling booth.


Ramakrishna Reddy, who is seeking re-election from Macherla as a YSRCP candidate for a fifth consecutive term, has been booked by the police under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Representation of the People Act, 1951, and Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act, 1984 after a video of him smashing the EVM went viral.


The incident occurred at a polling booth in Macherla on May 13 during the simultaneous polling for the Assembly and Lok Sabha in Andhra Pradesh.


In the video that went viral on May 21, he could be seen walking into a polling booth and smashing an EVM to the ground. Taking a serious note of the incident, the Election Commission had ordered his arrest.


Further, three new cases were lodged against him for allegedly perpetrating violence on polling day.

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