Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the police to submit videographs with English subtitles of the series of incidents that took place before TPCC working president A. Revanth Reddy was detained during the Assembly election campaign.
A division bench comprising Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice T. Amarnath Goud was dealing with a habeas corpus petition related to Mr Reddy’s detention. The police had detained him three days before the elections, saying it was done to keep the law under control in view of Mr Reddy’s call for a bandh on the day of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s campaign in Kodangal.
Appearing for the Telangana police, senior Supreme Court counsel Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the habeas corpus petition was not maintainable because such petitions should be filed by a family member of the detainee who is present on the spot. In the present case, the petition was filed by a friend, Vem Narender Reddy, who was depending on hearsay.
On the demand to pay compensation for Mr Reddy’s illegal arrest, Mr Rohatgi submitted that it was not illegal detention. He cited a Supreme Court judgment, which says that once a detainee is released after his arrest under Section 151 CrPC, the compensation aspect does not arise and the only option before the petitioner is to challenge his arrest.
Counsel asked how the court could rely on the bonafides of an MLA against whom cases had been registered five times under Section 151 CrPC. “He was released immediately after the Chief Minister’s meeting concluded in Kosgi, Kodangal. His arrest lasted 10-12 hours,” Mr Rohatgi said.
Counsel said that at the time of detention, Mr Reddy’s family members refused to take the notice, so the police handed it over to Mr Anji, who said he was a close aide of Mr Reddy. He told the court that Mr Reddy had preferred an election petition before the court wherein one of the grounds to declare him elected from Kodangal constituency was that he was illegally detained and not allowed to campaign properly. He said Mr Reddy was trying to gain advantage in the plea filed by him, insisting on payment of `20 lakh in compensation.
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