Supreme Court Furious Over Protection For Andhra MLA Who Smashed EVM, said “This Is A Joke”


Published on: June 03, 2024 22:31 IST

Supreme Court has strongly criticized the grant of interim protection to Andhra Pradesh MLA P Ramakrishna Reddy, who was captured on video earlier this month destroying an EVM at a polling station in Palnadu district.

It is reported that Videos widely circulated online show the ruling YSR Congress’ MLA, accompanied by several supporters, forcefully entering a voting booth, seizing the EVM (electronic voting machine) and VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail), and smashing them to the ground. The incident occurred on May 13.

Despite the severity of the act, within days, Mr. Reddy secured interim protection in this and related cases. High Court Justice Venkata Jyothirmayi issued orders directing the police not to act against Mr. Reddy until 10 am on Wednesday, a day after the Lok Sabha election results are declared.

Today, Supreme Court Justices Arvind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta questioned the High Court’s decision, calling it a “complete mockery of the system.” The top court indicated it was inclined to cancel the interim protection, potentially leading to Mr. Reddy’s arrest.

“(How can the court give) interim protection in such cases… if we do not stay this order, it will amount to mockery of the system…” Justice Kumar remarked after viewing the video of the incident.

“Are we being made fun of? This is a sheer joke. How can so many enter a polling booth?” the court questioned, highlighting the severity of the breach.

“It was a live web telecast… the complainant said both EVM and VVPAT were snatched and destroyed… eight people (were) inside the polling booth. Where is the question of bail?” the court stated, expressing a preliminary acceptance of the allegations against the YSRCP leader.

“This is not a doctored video… on the face of it…” Justice Mehta observed.

The court also criticized Mr. Reddy for evading authorities until he secured interim protection, and lambasted the police for their inadequate response to the incident. “…he is belittling the system. Sitting MLA goes to the polling station, destroys EVM and VVPAT, and complaint is filed about ‘unknown person’?”

The Supreme Court’s remarks reflect its serious concerns over the integrity of the electoral process and the apparent impunity with which the MLA acted. The case continues to draw significant attention as it underscores the challenges facing the Indian judicial and electoral systems.

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