The High Court bench noted that after hearing several similar petitions, there seemed to be a pattern of arrests being recorded in front of a magistrate only after a habeas corpus petition was filed.

Andhra Pradesh High Court building in AmaravatiWikimedia Commons
news Court Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 15:19

The Andhra Pradesh High Court pulled up police officials in the state over several instances of illegal detentions on Friday, September 24. While hearing a habeas corpus petition concerning two men detained by the police in East Godavari district earlier on August 30. The High Court bench said that it had observed a troubling pattern of arrests being recorded and accused being produced in front of a magistrate only after a habeas corpus petition is filed, the Times of India reported. 

The High Court bench said that all police actions must be in accordance with the law, and cautioned that it would use its discretionary powers if the pattern was not changed. The court was hearing a writ petition for habeas corpus filed by a woman named Shaik Akhtar Roshan, from Thokalavanipalem village of Kollur mandal in Guntur district. The woman had alleged that her husband Kancharla Naveen Babu, along with a man named Vasumilli Ashok, who were both accused of a crime, were illegally detained and subject to third-degree torture by Kothapeta police in East Godavari district on the night of August 30. 

The petitioner’s counsel told the court that the police have produced the two men before a magistrate since the petition was filed. They are now reportedly in judicial custody at the Kakinada sub-jail, and the court has directed officials to conduct a medical examination and submit the report to the court, Eenadu reported. The High Court had earlier asked Additional Director General (ADG) Law and Order Ravishankar Ayyanar to carry out an inquiry into the incident. The inquiry report was reportedly submitted to the court on Friday. Meanwhile, Kothapeta Sub-Inspector Srinivas Naik has been suspended, following a visit to the station by ADG Ravishankar and Eluru Range DIG KV Mohan Rao as part of the inquiry, according to local media reports. 

Stating that the court was of the impression that all was not well in police stations in the state after hearing several such habeas corpus petitions, the bench, headed by Chief Justice AK Goswami and Justice J Umadevi, asked the Advocate General to suggest to the Director General of Police (DGP) to avoid instances of illegal detention in the future.