HYDERABAD: The Telangana High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Sarpanch of Laxmidevipet Grampanchayat in Venkatapur mandal of Mulug district, G. Kumara Swamy, for hiding the fact he was an accused in certain cases registered by police against some villagers in a land-related dispute. He has been directed by the court to deposit the fine amount to the Telangana State Legal Services Authority within two weeks.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Abhishek Reddy passed the order. The
Chief Justice reprimanded Sujatha Kurapati, counsel for the petitioner, by saying that as an officer of the court, she should have restrained the petitioner from suppressing facts. "When there is an FIR against the petitioner, how dare he approach the court with guts and say that he is not involved in any civil and criminal litigation," the CJ asked.
The CJ questioned the petitioner to explain as to why he should not be prosecuted for filing the PIL suppressing such information, and not be tried for perjury for taking the court for a ride and misleading it.
He filed the PIL knowing fully well that he’s a part of the crime; and despite that he has sworn in an affidavit that he is not involved in any civil or criminal case. “This amounts to perjury,” the court said and made it very clear that it will take a strong view against such suppression of facts.
In the PIL, he alleged that the Station House Officer of Venkatapur police station was harassing the villagers of Laxmidevipet village and upon his insistence, cases have been slapped against poor villagers who are agitating for their rights over the lands in the village in Mulug district. Though, the petitioner and the villagers approached the DGP and filed a representation seeking action against the SHO, no action has been taken yet.