The Telangana High Court on Monday dismissed the habeas corpus petition filed by D Ashok, the founder of IT Grids, who developed the Telugu Desam Party's official app, Seva Mitra. Four of the company’s employees were taken into custody by the Cyberabad police after a complaint was filed, which said that the firm stole data and processed it without consent. The police also seized hard disks and other material from the firm. Seva Mitra, as per the TDP, is used for communication among all its workers and leaders, and only uses information in the public domain.
Following the detention of four employees of his firm, Ashok filed a petition with the Telangana High Court. However, after the police presented the four detained employees and clarified that they did not arrest them but detained them for investigation, the court dismissed Ashok’s petition.
Speaking to the media, Telangana advocate general B S Prasad said, “The detained persons themselves said before the court that they were not apprehended. Therefore the writ petition was closed.”
However, the court reportedly reprimanded the police for raiding the firm without a search warrant. The court also observed that the investigation carried out by Cyberabad police would not pass legal scrutiny, said the counsel representing Ashok.
While the TDP has been accused of misusing government data, the TDP Based on a complaint by data analyst Lokeshwar Reddy, the TDP has accused the TRS-led Telangana government of getting the police to seize the hard disks and other materials from the firm to help the YSR Congress Party, the TDP’s opposition party and an ally of the TRS.
The scandal has resulted in both Telangana and Andhra police having a stand-off. On Sunday, Andhra police tried to detain Lokeshwar, which was thwarted by Telangana police.
On Monday, TRS working president KT Rama Rao strongly condemned the actions of the Andhra police and said that the Telangana police had to take up the case because the crime happened under their jurisdiction. He said that the TDP need not worry if they haven’t committed any crime.
Meanwhile, another case has been filed against Ashok by a YSRCP leader in SR Nagar police station. Police said that they have begun their search to find Ashok and investigate the allegations of data theft.