Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Division Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.M. Sundresh, JJ. dismissed a writ petition filed by an advocate seeking to stall elevation of a judicial officer as a Judge of the Telangana High Court. The Supreme Court said that the petition was a gross abuse of the process of law and imposed costs of Rs 5 lakh on the petitioner.

The petitioner, B. Sailesh Saxena, is an advocate enrolled with the Bar Council of Telangana since the year 2000. He filed the instant petition seeking a writ of mandamus or an appropriate writ, order or direction directing the Union of India, State of Telangana and Registrar (Vigilance & Administration) of the Telangana High Court to consider his representation and take necessary action as per law. In effect, the petitioner stated that the recommendation of Venkateswara Reddy, Registrar General of the Telangana High Court should not be processed for elevation as a Judge of the High Court. The petitioner made various allegations against the Registrar General and other persons.

Proceedings before the High Court

The Supreme Court took notice of the writ petition filed by the petitioner before the Hyderabad High Court which was decided vide B. Sailesh Saxena v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Hyd 267. The Supreme Court discussed the ramifications of that judgment.

In that petition, the petitioner claimed that he was a legal advisor for the family of a Member of Parliament and legal counsel for other politically connected persons. He claimed to have suffered on account of political prejudices as the petitioner and his family members were being subjected to torture due to harassment by police authorities. The High Court had noted that there are various criminal complaints pending investigation against the petitioner himself. One such complaint was lodged by the Registrar General (whose elevation as a Judge the petitioner was now trying to stall) in his capacity as the then Registrar (Judicial), pursuant to a direction issued by the High Court. The allegation was that the petitioner had filed writ petitions on behalf of fictitious non-existent persons.

The case of the petitioner before the High Court was that multiple FIRs were being filed with a view to harass the petitioner, and the complaint registered at the instance of the Registrar pursuant to the direction of the Court would also fall in the same category. The High Court was of the opinion that the Registrar as a responsible officer only followed the direction passed by the High Court and, thus, what the petitioner attempted to do was to derail the course of investigation in the complaints lodged against him.

The instant writ petition

The Supreme Court said that it was surprised at the brazenness of the petitioner now filing a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution. It was observed:

“We are surprised as the brazenness of the petitioner now filing the present petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the aforesaid being the finding against him, to now somehow see that the elevation of [the Registrar General] does not take place on the account of these proceedings initiated by the petitioner. This is gross abuse of process of law.”

Observing that there exist sufficient safeguards in the system for appointment of Judges to the High Court, the Supreme Court explained:

“The process of appointment of judges to the High Court is under a well known established process where the collegium of the High Court considers recommending the names and in case of judicial officers by seniority and on merits. Thereafter, the proposed IB inputs and other inputs are obtained and the Government processes the names. The collegium of the Supreme Court has the benefit of all the material before taking a call on whether to recommend the name or not. The appointment takes place thereafter by issuance of warrants of appointment. “

Conclusion

The Supreme Court considered the endeavour of the petitioner as one of harassing the Registrar General of the Telangana High Court and abusing the court proceedings. The Court was of the view that since nothing else seem to deter the petitioner in such endeavours, imposition of costs seems to be the only solution.

The Court dismissed the writ petition with costs of Rs 5 lakh to be deposited by the petitioner with the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Welfare Fund. Additionally, the Bar Council of Telangana was directed to examine the petitioner’s conduct as a member of the “noble profession”. [B. Sailesh Saxena v. Union of India, WP (Civil) No. 555 of 2020, decided on 3-9-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner(s):

V. Chidambresh, Sr. Adv.

Aakash Sirohi, AOR

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Acting Chief Justice


President appoints Justice Mamidanna Satya Ratna Sri Ramachandra Rao, senior-most Judge of Telangana High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Kumari Justice Hima Kohli relinquishes the charge as Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court consequent upon her appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court of India.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 27-8-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: G. Sri Devi, J., rejected a bail application on noting the fact that a minor girl was continuously sexually assaulted by her mother’s live-in partner resulting in her getting pregnant.

Instant criminal petition under Section 437 and 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was filed by the petitioner/A-2 to release her on bail for the offences under Sections 376(2)(f)(n), 376(3), 342 and 50 of the Penal Code, 1860.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench noted that the petitioner/A-2 after the death of her husband had developed intimacy with A-1 and both the petitioner and A-1 were staying together by maintaining a live-in-relationship.

Further, it was noted that the petitioner allowed A-1 to commit sexual assault on her minor daughter, as a result of which her minor daughter, due to a continuous assault upon her by A-1 became pregnant and also gave birth to a male child. After giving birth, also the victim became pregnant twice and A-1 gave pills to her for abortion. The DNA test also revealed that A-1 is the biological father of the male child born to the victim girl.

In view of the above nature of allegations levelled against the petitioner, which were grave and heinous in nature, Court rejected the bail application of the petitioner.

High Court while dismissing the criminal petition, stated that since the charge sheet was already submitted, the trial court was directed to commence and conclude the trial as expeditiously as possible.[Shabana Begum v. State of Telangana, CRLP 4703 of 2021, decided on 3-08-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

Petitioner Advocate: Ramani Vemuganti

Respondent Advocate: Public Prosecutor TG

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: K. Lakshman, J., refused to quash a subsequent complaint filed by the wife against her husband (and others), where a prior complaint alleging offence under Section 498-A Penal Code, 1860 was already pending.

Instant criminal petition was filed under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Petitioners were accused of offences under Sections 498-A, 494 and 506 of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Respondent 2 had registered a crime against petitioner 1/husband of respondent 2 for the offence under Section 498-A IPC.

Allegations against the petitioners were that during the subsistence of the marriage with petitioner 1 and respondent 2, petitioner 1 married petitioner 6 with the help of petitioner 2 to 5 and therefore, they committed the offence punishable under Section 494 IPC.

Petitioner submitted that during the pendency of the first complaint, registration of the second complaint with regard to the very same allegations between the very same parties is not maintainable. He has also placed reliance on the principle laid down by the Supreme Court in Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India, (2020) 14 SCC 12

Analysis, Law and Decision

Bench noted that in the first complaint, the allegation of respondent 2 was with regard to the harassment by petitioner 1 demanding additional dowry.

Whereas in the second complaint, allegation against the petitioners was that during the subsistence of marriage, petitioner 1 married petitioner 6 and petitioners 2 to 5 assisted them in getting the said marriage. Hence, they committed “bigamy” punishable under Section 494 IPC.

Considering the fact that there are matrimonial disputes pending between petitioner 1 and respondent 2, and also considering the punishment prescribed for the offences alleged against the petitioners, the criminal petition was disposed of directing the Investigating Officer to follow the procedure contemplated under Section 41-A CrPC and also the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273.

[B. Vikram Singh v. State of Telangana, Criminal Petition No. 4130 of 2021, decided on 3-06-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: K. Lakshman, J., allowed a criminal petition and quashed a criminal case filed against the petitioner-accused as the ingredients of the alleged offence were lacking in the contents of the charge sheet.

Present criminal petition was filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Petitioner was accused of offences under Section 498-A Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 4 and 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

The only allegation against accused 4 was that he stayed with the daughter of respondent 1/victim along with accused 1, cousin of the petitioner and during that period, accused 4 supported and instigated the accused and abused daughter of respondent 1, though he was in no way concerned.

It was submitted that petitioner/accused 4 was unnecessarily implicated as he had nothing to do with the matrimonial life of the victim and accused 1.

Supreme Court in the decision of Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand, (2010) 7 SCC 667, dealt with Section 498-A IPC as to social responsibility and obligations to maintain social fibre of family life.

In another decision, Supreme Court in Geeta Mehrotra v. State of U.P., (2012) 10 SCC 741, it was held that mere casual reference of names of family members in a matrimonial dispute without allegation of active involvement in the matter would not justify taking cognizance against them overlooking the fact borne out of experience that there is a tendency to involve the entire family members of the household in the domestic quarrel taking place in a matrimonial dispute specifically if it happens soon after the wedding. It is further held that even if there are allegations of overt act indicating the complicity of the members of the family named in the First Information Report in a given case, cognizance would be unjustified but if the First Information Report does not disclose specific allegation against the accused more so, against the co-accused specifically in a matter arising out of matrimonial bickering, it would be a clear abuse of the legal and judicial process to mechanically send the named accused in the First Information Report to undergo the trial unless of course, the First Information Report discloses specific allegations which would persuade the Court to take cognizance of the offence alleged against the relatives of the main accused who are prima facie not found to have indulged in physical and mental torture of the complainant wife.

In Rajesh Sharma v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (2018) 10 SCC 472, the Supreme Court, considering the misuse of Section 498-A IPC and remedial measures etc., gave certain directions.

Bench stated that in view of the above-stated law laid down by the Supreme Court, the name of the petitioner/A4 was not there in the complaint. In the Charge Sheet, there was no mention of the basis on which the name of the petitioner was shown.

Court stated that the only allegation against the petitioner was that he stayed with accused 1 and victim in a flat and had supported and instigated accused and also abused victim, even though he was in no way concerned.

Hence, there was no mention of the alleged harassment of the victim by the petitioner/accused 4.

Petitioner/A.4 stayed for about 1 ½ year and during that period he used to support and instigate A.1 to abuse the victim. Thus, even in the statement of victim, there was no mention of the alleged harassment of the victim by the petitioner/A.4.

In view of the above discussion, ingredients of Section 498-A IPC and Sections 4 and 6 of the DP Act were lacking in the contents of the charge sheet. Therefore, Court opined that proceedings against petitioner/A4 cannot be continued and were liable to be quashed. [Gundapaneni Rakesh v. Thatiparthi Jithender, 2021 SCC OnLine TS 677, decided on 01-06-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner: K. Venu Madhav

For Respondent 1: A. Prabhakar Rao

For Respondent 2: Assistant Public Prosecutor

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: Abhinand Kumar Shavili, J., addressed a matter wherein the name and logo of a company were in dispute.

Instant petition was filed to seek a writ of mandamus.

Petitioner’s contention was that it is a registered company under the Companies Act, 1956. Respondent 3 approached the 2nd respondent under Section 22 of the Companies Act (now Section 16 of the new Companies Act, 2013) disputing the name and logo of the petitioner as the same was resembling with the 3rd respondents’ name and logo.

Analysis and Decision 

GSK – Widely Known

Bench stated that 2nd respondent had rightly passed orders directing the petitioner to change the name suitably by deleting the word ‘GSK’ from its existing name as it was similar to that of 3rd respondent and was widely known as GSK even prior to the incorporation of the petitioner-company.

What had 2nd respondent Ordered?

2nd respondent had ordered the name of the petitioner’s company be changed suitably by deleting the word ‘GSK’ from its existing name within a period of 3 months from the date of that order.

Contention of ‘Limitation’ – Rejected

With regard to the contention of limitation raised by the petitioner that the application filed by respondent 3 before 2nd respondent was barred by limitation, Court noted that the said application was filed under the old Act where the period of limitation was 5 years and the petitioner’s company was incorporated in 2008, whereas the 3rd respondent had filed an application before the 2nd respondent in 2012 which would mean that 3rd respondent has filed well within the period of limitation

Contention with respect to –Orders passed by 2nd respondent contrary to Trade Marks Act, 1999

Petitioner failed to show how Section 35 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 was being violated, more so, petitioner itself was not registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999. Hence the said contention was also rejected.

Therefore, in view of the above, Court did not find it appropriate to interfere with the case of the petitioner and the petition was dismissed. [G.S.K. Life Sciences (P) Ltd. v. Union of  India, 2021 SCC OnLine TS 634, decided on 20-04-2021]


Also, Read what Section 35 Trademarks Act, 1999 is?

Section 35:

Saving for use of name, address or description of goods or services, – Nothing in this Act shall entitle the proprietor or a registered user of a registered trade mark to interfere with any bona fide use by a person of his own name or that of his place of business, or of the name, or of the name of the place of business, of any of his predecessors in  business, or the use by any person of any bona fide description of the character or quality of his goods or services.”

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: The Division Bench of M.S. Ramachandra Rao and T. Vinod Kumar, JJ., while addressing the present matter highlighted the aspects of mental cruelty and desertion.

Respondent 1 who was married to appellant had alleged that since the time of marriage appellant was harassing and ill-treating him and was also abusing along with defaming him in the presence of other villagers.

Appellant filed a false complaint against the husband i.e. respondent 1 and his parents under Section 498-A read with Section 34 Penal Code, 1860 and that the appellant had deserted him and was leading adulterous life with 2nd respondent.

Respondent 1 alleged that the appellant while residing with 2nd respondent demanded big sum of money from the parents of respondent 1, after which she filed another false complaint. Appellant had also attacked and beat up the mother of respondent 1 causing her internal injuries.

Mental Cruelty and Desertion

Summing up the above-stated contentions, respondent 1 contended that leading of adulterous life by appellant with 2nd respondent amounts to cruelty and actions of appellant amounted to defamation, insult and annoyance and since he lost his reputation in the village, he as entitled to decree for dissolution of marriage on the ground of mental cruelty and desertion.

As per the appellant/wife she had denied being in love with 2nd respondent and gave a complaint against the 2nd respondent for sexual harassment.

Appellant denied of all the allegations placed by the husband against her. Further, she also added that her in-laws beat her up during her pregnancy and threw her out of the matrimonial home and she spent four years in her parents’ house during which time the 1st respondent did not bother to call or reconcile with her.

Her in-laws also forcefully took her minor daughter away.

Court below had concluded that respondent 1 could not be expected to live with the appellant since she had illegal contact with 2nd respondent and evidence on record indicated that the appellant was treating respondent 1 with mental cruelty and husband and wife had been living separately since 2015 and the marriage had irretrievably broken down and there was no chance of them living together again. Hence decree of divorce was granted.

Appellant filed the challenge to the above appeal.

Analysis, Law and Decision

One of the grounds for dissolution of a marriage is treatment of one spouse by the other spouse with cruelty, and such cruelty can be either mental cruelty or physical cruelty.

It was noted that the appellant had herself given a criminal complaint against 2nd respondent stating that she was married to 1st respondent and was blessed with a female child , but she was for previous 4 years staying away from her husband and from previous one year the 2nd respondent had lured her with delicious words and told her that he loved her and if she agreed, he will marry her; that she discarded her husband as she was not willing to lead marital life with her husband and when she came to the 2nd respondent and asked him to marry, he refused to marry her. She thus sought to take legal action against the 2nd respondent.

As per the contents of the complaint, appellant had illegal connection with 2nd respondent and had expressed her intention of not willing to lead marital life with 1st respondent who was her lawfully wedded husband.

Fidelity in marital relationship is very important and if one of the spouses is guilty of infidelity, it would certainly amount to causing mental cruelty to the other spouse.

 High Court opined that the Court below did not commit any error in giving the finding that the appellant treated 1st respondent with cruelty by leading adulterous life with 2nd respondent and that she had deserted the 1st respondent and treated him with cruelty and that marriage had irretrievably broken down and there was no chance of them living together again.

Hence no merit in the appeal was found leading to its dismissal.[Laxmi Meenakshi v. Chetty Mahadevappa, 2021 SCC OnLine TS 469 , decided on 09-04-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: G Sri Devi, J. addressed a petition filed under Sections 437 and 439 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 to seek bail.

Petitioner who sought bail in the instant case had a case registered against him for the offences punishable under Sections 8(c) read with Section 21 (C) of the NDPS Act, 1985.

Inspector of Police had seized MD Drug weighing about 200 grams in a plastic cover, two mobile phones and other material from the possession of the accused.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that petitioner had been falsely implicated in the present crime.

It was stated that in the Supreme Court decision of Sheru v. Narcotics Control Bureau, Crl. Appeal Nos. 585, 586 of 2020, dated 11-09-2020 bail was granted to a person in a case filed under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in view of the unusual times of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In view of the above-cited case, having regard to the fact that petitioner was in jail since 19-11-2020 and looking into the nature of allegation levelled against the petitioner and as the contraband seized from the possession of petitioner was only a little bit higher than the commercial quantity, also in view of the peculiar conditions of COVID-19 Pandemic prevailing in the country, High Court granted bail to the petitioner.

Hence, criminal petition was allowed, and petitioner was directed to be released on bail subject to the following conditions:

  • Petitioner shall be released on bail on his executing a personal bond to the tune of Rs 25,000 with two sureties for a like sum each to the satisfaction of XI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Nampally, Hyderabad.
  • On such release, petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer till completion of investigation and submission of final report.
  • Petitioner shall appear before the Court concerned personally on each date hearing till conclusion trial
  • Petitioner shall not indulge in any similar type of activities, in future other his liberty shall stand cancelled
  • Shall not tamper with prosecution witnesses
  • Shall co-operate with the investigating agency.
  • Shall not misuse the liberty granted to him.

[Tejawath Suresh v. State of Telangana, 2021 SCC OnLine TS 549, decided on 23-04-2021]


Sri P Pratap, Advocate for the Petitioner

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Telangana High Court while considering the upsurge in COVID-19 cases has decided to conduct the hearing of cases by all the Benches virtually with immediate effect, instead of continuing the present practice of physical as well as virtual hearing of the cases in the High Court on a rotation basis by the Division Benches and Single Benches.


Telangana High Court

[Notification dt. 15-04-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: G. Sri Devi, J., while addressing a bail application filed in a case of ‘Honour Killing’ enumerated the factors that are significant while granting bail.

Instant criminal petition was filed under Sections 437 and 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 seeking to release the petitioners on bail.

Prosecution’s Case

In the Charge-Sheet it was stated that the deceased – Chinta Yoga Hemanth Kumar fell in love with the de facto complainant and decided to marry her. Both of them belonged to different castes due to which their parents were not happy.

Parents of the de facto complainant, with relatives, help tried to convince the de facto complainant and the deceased and forcibly took away the de facto complainant’s phone. But the love affair continued, and marriage was solemnized.

It was stated that the parents of the de facto complainant hatched a plan to do away with the life of the deceased and murdered the deceased in connivance with the other accused of marrying their daughter, which was an inter-caste marriage.

Important factors while granting bail 

While granting bai1, it is necessary for the Court to consider the following factors among other circumstances: 

(a) The nature of accusation and the severity of punishment in case of conviction and the nature of supporting evidence;

(b) Reasonable apprehension of tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant

(c) Prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge;

It was noted that the present was the third bail application by the petitioners as the previous ones were rejected by the co-ordinate Bench of this Court.

In the Supreme Court decision of State of T.N. v. S.A. Raja, (2005) 8 SCC 380, it was observed that:

“…principles of res judicata are not applicable to bail applications, but the repeated filing of the bail applications without there being any change of circumstances would lead to bad precedents.” 

Bench in lights of the facts and circumstances along with evidence placed on record, noted that the modus operandi adopted by the petitioners and other accused in the crime would also prima facie disclose that they committed the offences to do away the life of the deceased in order to separate the de factor complainant from him.

High Court also added that the Assistant Public Prosecutor’s apprehension that it was difficult to secure the presence of the petitioners, if they were released on bail could not be ruled out.

Hence, since no change of circumstances from the date of dismissal of earlier bail applications was found, present bail application was rejected. [Ardham Ranjit Reddy v. State of Telangana, 2021 SCC OnLine TS 320, decided on 08-03-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: P. Naveen Rao, J., while disposing of the present petition, directed the police authorities not to involve or obstruct the petitioners from carrying on religious activities.

 The instant writ petition was filed alleging that the 2nd respondent (Police authority) is not allowing the petitioner to perform prayers in the premises claimed to be in its possession. Petitioner alleges that though there is no complaint from the revenue authorities, the 2nd respondent is interfering and obstructing from carrying on activities, precisely, worship including other social activities conducted occasionally. It is further alleged that such interference at a stage before Christmas would be amounting to undue obstruction thereby affecting sentiments of the people belonging to the Christian community.

 It was observed by the Court, in the words,

“Be that as it may, as long as no crime is reported, the respondent-Police are directed not to involve or obstruct from carrying on activities by the petitioner. However, having regard to present pandemic, petitioner is also mandated to follow strictly the norms and guidelines stipulated by the Government with reference to conducting of meetings and it is always open to the police to take action, if those guidelines or instructions with reference to the present pandemic are violated. Petitioner is directed to video record the proceedings showing that the proceedings are conducted in full compliance of the guidelines and instructions issued by the Government with reference to the present pandemic, shall preserve and make available to police whenever required by them.”[Agape Full Gospel Ministries v. State of Telangana, 2020 SCC OnLine TS 1783, decided on 24-12-2020]


Sakshi Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: P. Naveen Rao, J., while addressing the instant matter observed that,

“When a citizen comes to the High Court alleging infringement of his right to life, liberty and privacy by opening a rowdy sheet, the Court can look into whether the decision of the police to have surveillance on the petitioner is justified and supported by the material on a record or it was initiated only to harass and humiliate the individual.

It is to be noted that mere involvement in a crime may not per se require surveillance on that person.”

Kasula Nandam is said to be the protected tenant and in possession of land to an extent, Acs.6.32 guntas in Sy. No. 170 of Kapra village, having obtained occupancy rights certificate in the year 1979.

The petitioner who used to run a cloth shop was appointed as the General Power of Attorney holder to look after the above-stated property. Further, he stated that there are several bogus claimants over the said land.

Petitioner added that several false claims on the land were made by lodging complaints against the petitioner over a period of time.

On the ground of registration of crimes, and pending trial before the Criminal Courts, rowdy sheet is opened and in the guise of the opening of the rowdy sheet, respondent-Police are keeping close surveillance on the movements of the petitioner, affecting his right, liberty and privacy.

Respondent-Police alleged that there is ample evidence alleging that the petitioner has been grabbing private and Government Lands by way of illegal means, that due to fear of the petitioner, no one is coming forward to lodge a complaint.

Hence, in view of the public interest and to safeguard the residents of the area, where the petitioner is residing, and to curb his unlawful activities, the rowdy sheet is opened.

Whether the Police are justified in opening the rowdy sheet against the petitioner?

Enforcement of law and order is the most important state function. Enforcement of law and order includes taking all preventive measures to ensure that no untoward incident happens and peace and tranquillity is not affected. To prevent a breach of peace and tranquillity, it is permissible for the police to take all measures possible.

It was noted that for the purpose of keeping surveillance, Police Standing Order 601 enables opening a Rowdy Sheet in the concerned police station. After the opening of the rowdy sheet, close surveillance is enforced on the concerned person

Court observed that,

Opening of Rowdy Sheet and thereon keeping close surveillance on the person would certainly infringe upon the right to life, liberty and privacy of the individual concerned.

A person is entitled to lead his life with dignity and self-respect and does not want an outsider to intrude in his private affairs and to probe into his movements.

Thus, there are two competing interests in preventive measures. On the one side is right guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India, which is sacrosanct and on the other side is the primacy of enforcement of law and order, maintenance of peace and tranquillity, which is the primary responsibility of the State through its police force. Compelling public interest may require intrusion into the privacy of a person.

Bench further observed that the principles governing the opening of Rowdy Sheet vis-a-vis the right to life and liberty, it is necessary to consider whether by opening rowdy sheet against the petitioner, respondent police have violated the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and whether their decision is supported by reasons warranting requirement to open rowdy sheet.

Crimes that the petitioner was involved in included Sections 447 IPC (criminal trespass); 427 IPC (Mischief); 506 IPC (criminal intimidation); 420 IPC (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property); 468 IPC (forgery for purpose of cheating); 471 IPC (using as genuine a forged document); 452 IPC (House trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint); 120-B IPC (criminal conspiracy) and 34 IPC (Act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The above-stated would show that the petitioner was in the habit of being involved in crimes, disturbing peace and tranquillity.

Hence, the Court held that,

Having regard to the crimes registered against the petitioner and that he was facing trial in five cases, it cannot be said that the Police action in opening rowdy sheet amounts to abuse or misuse of power and authority, and cannot be said as one made in the illegal exercise of power and without application of mind.

While dismissing the petition, Bench made it clear that while keeping surveillance, Police shall ensure that it is minimal, not obtrusive and not to impinge upon his privacy.[M. Laxman v. State of Telangana,  2020 SCC OnLine TS 1600, decided on 03-12-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: A Division Bench of Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, CJ and B. Vijaysen Reddy, J., while addressing the Public Interest Litigation filed on the basis of a news report observed in regard to “Judicial Commission” that,

“In absence of any concrete evidence and facts, appointing Judicial Commission would be a futile exercise”

The present Public interest Litigation was filed based on a news item published in “The Hindu” newspaper on 10-05-2020 entitled “Police, not Judges, award punishment”.

Baglekar Akash Kumar wrote a letter to the Chief Justice in view of the incident reported in the above-stated news item. In the said news item 5 accused persons were alleged to have committed the offence under Section 319 of Penal Code, 1860.

The said accused persons were allegedly made to move barricades under the scorching summer sun by the police.

The above-stated act amounts to the torture inflicted by the police and hence necessary action was sought by the petitioner against the police personnel.

Further, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that since the identity of the accused persons was changed by the reporter of “The Hindu”, it remains unknown. Hence, to enquire into the veracity of news, a Judicial Commission should be appointed.

Petitioner’s counsel also relied on a Supreme Court’s decision in Sheela barse v. State of Maharashtra, (1983) 2 SCC 96.

Decision

Since the reporter himself is not in a position to reveal the identity of the accused persons, it is very difficult to find out the actual identity of the alleged accused persons, who ere allegedly forced to move barricades in hot summer days.

To appoint Judicial Commission would be a futile exercise in absence of concrete evidence and facts

Court in regard to Judicial Commission stated that,

Judicial Commission cannot be asked to go on a wild goose chase. The appointment of the Judicial Commission is a serious step. It cannot be taken lightly.

In the present matter, all the witnesses have clearly stated that they had helped the police voluntarily which gives the Court no reason to disbelieve their statements.

In view of the above circumstances, the bench is not inclined to appoint a Judicial Commission to examine the alleged incident.

In view of the above writ petition was disposed of. [Baglekar Akash Kumar v. State of Telangana, 2020 SCC OnLine TS 1005, decided on 04-09-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Telangana High Court: A Division Bench of Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, CJ and T. Vinod Kumar, J., while addressing a writ appeal observed that the High Court cannot decide whether the FIR is a false or frivolous one.

Facts

In the instant appeal, as per the facts of the case, petitioner was appointed as Village Assistant and later in February 2020 was promoted to Senior Assistant. By order dated 31-07-2020, the petitioner was suspended from his service.

On being aggrieved with the above, petitioner filed the petition before the Single Judge and further the same was dismissed and hence the appeal before this Court.

Contentions 

Petitioner’s Counsel, P.V. Ramana submitted that the allegations made against the petitioner relate to the year 2005-2006 and hence suspending the petitioner after a lapse of 14 years will not serve any fruitful purpose.

The alleged complaint made by Guda Rajeswar to the police on the basis of which a criminal case had been registered against the petitioner is also of the period 2005-2006. Also, the case made out on the said allegations was lost by the complainant before the revenue authorities. Hence the FIR is a false and frivolous one.

Decision and Analysis

Rule 8 of the Telangana Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1991 states that an employee can be suspended either if a Criminal Case is pending or a Departmental Enquiry is contemplated.

In the present matter, Article of charges had been furnished on 31-07-2020 to the petitioner, which clearly points that a departmental enquiry has commenced.

It has also been noted that an FIR was registered against the petitioner for offences under Sections 420, 468, 471, 506 read with 34 of Penal Code, 1860.

Hence on referring the stated rule, it is clear that both the conditions prescribed under Rule 8 are fulfilled in the present matter.

High Court also noted that to determine whether FIR is false or frivolous is not to be decided by this Court. The veracity and authenticity of the FIR are to be decided by the Trial Court.

Bench while analysing the matter also stated that “suspension is not a punishment.”

Suspension is merely suspending the relationship between the employer and an employee.

Court stated that since the petitioner is facing both the Criminal Trial and a Departmental Enquiry, the employer cannot be saddled with such an employee.

In view of the above Court dismissed the appeal on finding no merits. [P. Narasimha Chary v. State of Telangana, 2020 SCC OnLine TS 1021, decided on 16-09-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoint Bollampally Vijaysen Reddy, to be a Judge of the Telangana High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 01-05-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Considering the fact that the lockdown may be lifted in a phased manner and 100% opening of the courts may lead to congregation of the people in the court premises, the Full Court has resolved to continue the present arrangement with regard to the functioning of the High Court and the District Courts till April 30, 2020.

At the High Court level only extreme urgent matters namely Bail applications, stay applications fresh admissions such as PILs will be taken up.

At the District Courts level, extremely urgent criminal and civil matters such as bail applications, remand, extension of remand, interim injunctions etc. will be entertained.

The situation will be reviewed on April 25, 2020. It is also resolved to cancel the Summer Vacation both for the High Court as well as the Subordinate Courts and all the courts in the State shall continue to function throughout May 2020 till 5th June, 2020.

Hot Off The PressNews

Hon’ble the Chief Justice, Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, High Court for the State of Telangana launched the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS) and National Service and Tracking of Electronic Processes (NSTEP) Project in all the Districts of State of Telangana.

This facility would obviate the Courts to access the data from the other stakeholders of ICJS project and the transmission will be done electronically which will bring more transparency and reduction of data entry at multiple places which will relieve the burden of Staff of Courts, Police and all other stake holders, as well as saves money to the State exchequer.

Telangana is the pioneer State to have ICJS and NSTEP Projects in India. The ICJS and NSTEP Project launch is first in the Country where the entire data exchange is online in Courts of State of Telangana in coordination with other stake holders of the project.


[Press Note dt. 04-12-2019]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and R.F. Nariman, JJ.  resolves to recommend that Mr. Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar, Judge, Telangana High Court, be transferred, in the interest of better administration of justice, to Punjab & Haryana High Court.


[Collegium Resolution dt. 28-08-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for the appointment of following 4 Advocates as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and 3 Advocates as Judges of the Telangana High Court:

1 Shri R. Raghunandan Rao (A.P.),
2 Shri T. Vinod Kumar (Telangana),
3 Shri Battu Devanand (A.P.),
4 Shri D. Ramesh (A.P.),
5 Shri A. Abhishek Reddy (Telangana),
6 Shri N. Jayasurya (A.P.) and
7 Shri K. Lakshman (Telangana)

On the basis of interaction, material on record and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ. is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) R. Raghunandan Rao, (2) T. Vinod Kumar, (3) Battu Devanand, (4) D. Ramesh, (5) A. Abhishek Reddy, (6) N. Jayasurya and (7) K. Lakshman are suitable for being elevated to the High Court Bench.

Therefore, in view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that:

(i) S/Shri (1) R. Raghunandan Rao, (2) Battu Devanand, (3) D. Ramesh and (4) N. Jayasurya be appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice; and

(ii) S/Shri (1) T. Vinod Kumar, (2) A. Abhishek Reddy and (3) K. Lakshman be appointed as Judges of the Telangana High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


[Collegium Resolution dt. 25-07-2019]

Supreme Court of India