HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Telangana High Court on Friday convicted Karimnagar Commissioner of Police VB Kamalasan Reddy (formerly Karimnagar superintendent of police) and two other police officers in a contempt case and sentenced them to six months imprisonment.
The policemen were also asked to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 each. The court imposed costs of Rs 10,000 each to be payable to the State Legal Services Authority.
Besides, the Court directed the state government to incorporate the said punishment in the policemen’s service record. It, however, suspended the order for four weeks to enable them to avail legal remedies.
Justice PV Sanjay Kumar was passing the order in a contempt case filed by Pushpanjali Country Resorts, represented by its president and former MLA V Jagapathi Rao, situated at Teegalaguttapally, seeking action against the police for deliberately violating an order passed by the court.
In November 2015, the judge, while dealing with a petition filed by the resort, directed Karimnagar police to not interfere with a card game (rummy) being played there.
The judge referred to a previous order of a division bench of the court on the same issue, which ruled that the playing of game need not be penalized. The judge, however, directed the resort management to install CCTV cameras and record all activity and preserve data to facilitate police checking.
The judge also directed the resort to connect the cameras to the jurisdictional police station and the SP’s office for observation.
“If any gaming places are not covered by such cameras, the police can take action as per law,” the judge noted.
The resort’s acting president V Jagapathi Rao filed the present contempt case after the police raided the resort premises repeatedly, and did not adhere to court orders. He named the then SP (now police commissioner) VB Kamalasan Reddy, ACP Tirupathi and Karimnagar Rural police station SHO Sashidhar Reddy as respondents to the case.
The petitioner’s counsel told the court that the police had raided the resort four times despite a restraint order passed earlier by the court. Arrests were made in the resort even after the issuance of contempt notices, he pointed out.
Taking a serious view of non-implementation of the earlier order, Justice Kumar convicted the officers and sentenced them to six months jail. Further, the judge said that it was open to the State government to initiate disciplinary action against them officers for foisting false cases against the petitioner.