Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday asked the Telangana state government and the police department what made them detain TPCC working president A. Revanth Reddy during the early hours by entering his house. It directed the police to submit written records and procedure details of the detention of Mr Revanth Reddy by 10.15 am on Wednesday. It also asked the Telangana Advocate General what action should be taken if the court found that the detention was illegal.
A division bench comprising Justice Raghvendra S. Chauhan and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy was dealing with a habeas corpus petition filed by former MLA V. Narendar Reddy after the detention of Mr Revanth Reddy, alleging that the police did not follow the correct procedure. The court also observed that this is not the right way of handling dissent.
The bench said, “In a democracy, every citizen has the right to express his dissent and the police has their own ways and means of maintaining law and order, like barricading to prevent people from reaching the venue and even using the water cannons to disperse an unruly mob.”
Mr Revanth Reddy's counsel C.V. Mohan Reddy informed the court that the detainee was the working president of TPCC and was allowed by the Election Commission to campaign throughout the state for the elections, but he was illegally detained by police around 3 am on Tuesday by breaking into his house.
Sharath Kumar, special counsel on behalf of the police, submitted before the court that on Tuesday evening, there was an election campaign of caretaker Chief Minister at Kodangal where Mr Revanth Reddy had given a bandh call and made provocating statements against the TRS. He said Vikarabad police detained Mr Revanth Reddy under CrPC Section 151 and has kept him at Jadcherla Police Training College. He said the Congress leader would be released after Mr Chandrasekhar Rao's meeting was over.
The bench asked the police how a call for bandh became illegal. It said in case of a threat to law and order, the police have to take precautions. The court also rapped the police for not producing Mr Revanth Reddy before a magistrate after detaining him.
Justice Chauhan said, “This is the third habeas corpus petition I am hearing after I took charge as a judge in this high court. These series of petitions are filed after elections are scheduled.”
Commenting that “this is the typical type of British rule”, the court directed the Telangana state Advocate General (AG) to appear before it at 4 pm and produce the version of Telangana government.
Following the direction of the bench, advocate general B.S. Prasad appeared before the court and explained the reasons for the arrest Mr Revanth Reddy.
He informed the court that Mr Revanth Reddy would have released by 5.30 pm once CM's meeting was over at Kodangal. Mr Prasad also promised the court that he would submit all reports related to arrest.
After recording the AG’s statement, the court posted the case to Wednesday....