VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over the functioning of the government’s legal team, stating that they were neither assisting the judiciary properly nor advising the government correctly.
It reasoned that this was the reason why the court had to summon government officials and pointed out, “imagine the situation if the court is constrained to summon the DGP in a minor case.”
The observations were made by Justice B Devanand during a hearing on a batch of petitions in which the petitioners complained that police personnel were not placing details of vehicles seized under the Excise Act before the officials concerned, as a consequence of which, they were not unable to get back their vehicles.
In this connection, DGP Gautam Sawang, who was asked to appear in person, attended the hearing on Wednesday.
Justice Devanand directed the police to submit details of all the vehicles seized before the Deputy Commissioner (Excise) within three days and directed the latter to take a decision as per rules on releasing them within three days.
This entire process must be wrapped within a week at the most, the court ruled.
It also sought an explanation from the government on why the police were seizing vehicles even for carrying three liquor bottles when the government had permitted the same through GO 411 issued last year.
It directed the government to file an affidavit on the issue and deferred hearing by two weeks.
It also exempted the DGP from personal appearance in court. The court had earlier directed Advocate General Sriram to discuss the petitions with the DGP and inform the court on what was being done.
However, it had found the AG’s explanation dissatisfactory and summoned the DGP to court. During the hearing on Wednesday, Justice Devanand observed that legal advisors were not giving proper advice to the government and besides, they were not even cooperating with the judiciary by not giving the information asked.
“Courts are forced to interfere because the legal advisors are not cooperating properly. But what will the people think? Is the judiciary against the government? Is the judiciary creating obstructing the government’s every step? Judiciary is not against any person, any official or any government. Judiciary exists only for the people who approach it for protecting Constitutional rules,” Justice Devanand said.
Significantly, he further commented that the court was forced to interfere under Article 226 because of the failure of the officials to work properly. The Judge told the DGP that he had to come to court only because the legal advisors failed to give him proper advice.
“There is no other reason to summon you to court,” Justice Devanand said, adding that police deserve praise for the way they had been working during these coronavirus times.