Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court turned down the pleas of three police officers to stall departmental disciplinary proceedings against them for allegedly associating themselves with a known offender, K. Rakesh Reddy, the prime accused in the murder of NRI businessman Chigurupalli Jayaram and alleged land-grabber.
Justice P. Naveen Rao dismissed the petitions of DSP S. Malla Reddy and inspectors Mallaraset Rambabu and S. Srinivasulu. All the three officers are under suspension.
Justice Rao made it clear that there is no need to wait for the conclusion of criminal proceedings to initiate departmental proceedings. “The police officials should have impeccable character and their primary duty is to enforce the law by nabbing the offenders. They were hand in glove and had maintained a cordial relationship (with the accused),” Justice Rao said.
“There are allegations made against some of them that they advised the accused to abandon the body of the deceased somewhere in AP,” the judge observed.
The officers questioned the start of the disciplinary proceedings against them when the criminal proceedings initiated against them were pending and trial was yet to start. The employer is required to follow due process, they said.
Justice Rao said disciplinary proceedings and criminal proceedings were different aspects. On establishment of charges against the employees, appropriate punishment can be imposed by the employer.
“In domestic inquiry to establish charges, circumstantial evidence can be taken into consideration to hold the charge as proved and to impose appropriate punishment. On the contrary, criminal law requires that the charges levelled against a person must be proved beyond reasonable doubt and burden lies on the prosecution to establish the charges. Any deficiency and element of doubt in evidence will go against the prosecution,” the court said to explain the differentiation between the two.
Rambabu as station house office of Raidur-gam was accused of maintaining a close association with Rakesh Reddy despite knowing of his criminal activities. He had requested Adibatla station house officer R. Govinda Reddy to help the accused in a land encroachment case. Police said Rambabu and Rakesh Reddy had called each other 224 times and their conversations totalled 19,568 seconds (about 5.43 hours) between May 2018 and January 31, 2019.
Srinivasulu, when he was SHO, Nallakunta, met Rakesh Reddy twice. They exchanged 61 calls totalling 8,275 seconds (2.29 hours) in nine months till January 31.
DSP Malla Reddy when he was posted as ACP, Ibrahimpatnam, and Rakesh Reddy spoke 141 times on the phone for 11,989 seconds (3.33 hours) from June 2018 to January 31.
Rakesh Reddy is accused of having lured NRI businessman C. Jayaram to his flat in Jubilee Hills Road No. 10 using a few people including a mimicry artiste and killed him in a bid to extort money. Police is investigating a claim that Jayaram owed Rakesh Reddy `4 crore.
The body was disposed of in Andhra Pradesh to cover the tracks and to create jurisdictional hassles....