Further to a Habeas Corpus petition filed by Vem Narender Reddy, an aide of Kodangal ex MLA A Revanth Reddy, the case had come up for hearing on Monday. The petition was filed during the time Revanth Reddy was detained in Kodangal ahead of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's visit to Kodangal during the time of election campaign.
A division bench comprising Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice T. Amarnath Goud directed the police authorities to submit the CDs and videos taken during the time of Revanth Reddy's detention and also instructed the police to provide English subtitles for the voice part.
Habeas Corpus Petition not maintainable
Senior Supreme Court counsel Mukul Rohatgi who was appearing for the Telangana police, said that when the family member of the confined person could have filed the petition, they chose not to. But here the petition was filed by his aide Vem Narender Reddy, who was not present at that time of the detention and the case was based merely on hearsay, hence the petition was not maintainable, he contended.
It may be recalled that the Telangana Police had detained him under Section 151 CrPC as a preventive measure in order to control law and order as Revanth had called for a bandh in protest against the Chief Minister's visit. The counsel also submitted that Revanth Reddy was released once the CM completed his meeting. The counsel also informed the court that a prior notice was sent to his house, but his wife Geeta Reddy had refused to take it and his close aide Anji took it instead.
Not illegal arrest hence compensation cannot be claimed
Rohatgi also said that seeking compensation for Mr Reddy’s illegal arrest, was not maintainable as it does not qualify as illegal detention. As per a Supreme Court Case, he informed the court that once a detainee is released after his arrest under Section 151 CRPC, the compensation aspect does not arise. The counsel said that taking undue advantage of the plea he was trying to claim Rs 20 lakh compensation.
Submit CDs and complete video footage with English subtitles
When the special government pleader Sanjeev kumar said that the CD would be presented to the court, Revanth Reddy's counsel CV Mohan Reddy raised objections that the court should not take into account the CDs submitted by the police authorities. He also expressed his doubts that they could edit it to their own advantage, he said. Agreeing to his statements, the Court ordered for the entire footage along with English subtitles to be presented and adjourned the matter to next Tuesday for submission and further hearing.
Dogs were set on the Police
The Counsel also informed the court that Police officials had been very courteous with Revanth Reddy and it was his aides who had behaved roughly with them and let the dogs on to the police. All this was video graphed by the police, they said. The court also questioned the police action based on the information of a Police officer Nagesh. How was it that the report had no date, time or an official seal to it, the court questioned. Someone could have misled the police the court said and the Police would have to act with extreme caution in such sensitive cases, it clarified.
Reacting to this, the senior counsel said: “We all sit in air-conditioned rooms and express our opinions, but it is completely different for the police who work at a field level, as they face many difficult situations and have to act accordingly.”