Telangana High Court: The Division Bench of Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, CJ and B. Vijaysen Reddy, J., took cognizance of the petition against alleged police brutality while handling lockdown violations.

Petitioner sought direction in nature of a writ of mandamus declaring the action of the police as being in excess of their power, arbitrary illegal unjust violation of various fundamental and constitutional rights including Article 14, 19, 21 and 300 A of the Constitution of India and also contrary to any power either under the Disaster Management Act or the Epidemics Act.

In accordance to the counter-affidavit filed by the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City a departmental enquiry has been initiated against the police personnel calling for their explanation for failure to discharge their duties responsibly.

It is alleged that the Police had assaulted a handicapped person. Yet, the Police claims that he is a regular violator of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and as many as thirteen Traffic Challans are hanging against him.

According to the petitioner, there is a video circulating over the internet wherein it is shown that a Sub-Inspector of Police of Moghalpura Police Station was abusing the local persons, who had stepped out for groceries.

There is an allegation that the police personnel of Falakhnuma Police Station damaged the vehicles parked outside the homes in a residential area. Surprisingly, the Police claims that while checking the two wheelers parked outside the houses, “the Police had checked the vehicles using police lathies in order to see whether coronavirus was present or not”. This explanation by the Police is, indeed, surprising.

Likewise, it is alleged that one Mr Junaid was brutally attacked by the police personnel, namely Mr K. Hanumanth Kumar of Golconda Police Station. Due to the brutal attack, he has suffered thirty-five stitches on his face, and also suffered hairline fracture.

According to the Police, Mr Junaid was intercepted. by them as he was driving the two wheeler without wearing a mask, and without wearing a helmet.

In view of the above, Court directed the respondents to submit the injury reports of the persons concerned, their statements and further to inform the Court with regard to the progress made in departmental enquiries that have been initiated against the delinquent police personnel.

Matter to be listed on 30-06-2020. [Sheela Sarah Mathews v. State of Telangana, 2020 SCC OnLine TS 595 , decided on 17-06-2020]

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