Hyderabad: Stating that the documents in the A. Revanth Reddy case appear to be “fabricated”, the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday directed DGP M. Mahendar Reddy to explain the reasons behind the preventive arrest of Congress leader A. Revanth Reddy early. The court wanted all documents related to the arrest to be produced by December 17.
Dealing with a petition, a division bench comprising Justice Raghavendra S. Chauhan and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy asked the DGP, who was in the court, about the behaviour of the police officials and said the arrest had sent the wrong signal to the public regarding the state government.The court raised doubts about the letters and memos submitted by the Vikarabad superintendent of police, which even did not have an official seal or attestations.
Mr Mahendar Reddy explained that the department was not using seals or any authentication mode for internal communications. The bench asked how could one identify the communication as it did not have legal sanctity. The judges said they could be misused by unscrupulous elements.
The judges asked the DGP why the police had initiated action against Mr Revanth Reddy under Section 151 CrPC when he has issued a notice stating that action would be taken under the Representation of the Peoples Act or the Indian Penal Code.
The DGP submitted he had instructed the Vikarabad SP to take action based on information received from sources and the letter from the Chief Electoral Officer’s Office. The SP then met with the returning officer and the district election officer.
He submitted a letter stating that notice was served on Mr Revanth Reddy before the preventive arrest. This letter had no mention of the date and seal, and the court asked asked: “How can the letter be treated as issued on that particular day with no seal or date.”
The Advocate General replied, “A letter does not lose its significance just by not mentioning a date on it. The court gave the government time to file an affidavit. Earlier, the bench directed the DGP to appear before the court at 2.15 pm.
The bench opined that the records pertaining to the case were fabricated because the documents did not have signatures or seals on them.
The bench pulled up Advocate General B.S. Prasad for furnishing documents given by police in the same state.
It observed that the Telangana police were functioning in the most negligent manner as none of the letters and memos furnished by the Vikarabad SP or the Special Branch inspector had a signature or a seal.
While going through the report of Special Branch inspector, who gave primary information to the SP that Mr Reddy would send his men to the meeting of caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao which could create turmoil, the court said it did not have his signature. On the decision of the SP to detain Mr Reddy, the bench observed that the material furnished was tantamount to an eyewash and it had no legal sanctity and the documents were fabricated.
The judges pointed out that the Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar had informed the DGP that precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that Mr Rao’s meeting goes off peacefully as Mr Revanth Reddy had given a bandh call. Even the letter of Mr Rajat Kumar did not bear his signature. The bench pulled up election officials, saying that when the DGP was being addressed, they ought to have ensured that the communication was on a letterhead,
The bench asked the AG if the state police would deal with the ruling party leaders and its president as they did in the case of Revanth Reddy’s issue.
The bench said that Vikarabad SP would have not taken the drastic decision of taking Mr Revanth Reddy into preventive custody on her own, but would have followed oral instructions given to her by the DGP. Hence, the DGP was being summoned.
The Advocate General said the DGP was busy with election duty. The court replied: “The High Court is also busy in studying the cases. Does not the DGP have half-an-hour to pay a visit to the court?” The judges firmly said the DGP had to appear before it irrespective of the prevailing conditions.