Justice league: Telangana High Court rejects plea to release Rs 3 crore seized by cops

senior counsel for the petitioner argued that the seizure of the cash was unauthorised as the police did not follow the required procedure.
Representational image of Telangana High Court
Representational image of Telangana High Court

Justice CV Bhaskar Reddy of the Telangana High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by Neena Kamlesh Shah seeking quashing of an FIR (216 of 2023) registered on October 15, 2023 by the SHO, Waddepally police station, Nalgonda district and return the Rs 3.04 crore seized by the police.

Citing Section 102 of the Cr.PC that allows police officers to seize property suspected to be stolen or linked to an offence, senior counsel for the petitioner argued that the seizure of the cash was unauthorised as the police did not follow the required procedure under this Section and did not deposit the cash in court.

In response, the Government Pleader for Home said that the seizure and release of the cash followed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Election Commission of India under Article 324 of the Constitution. The cash was deposited with the Income Tax department, which issued a notice under Section 131 of the Income Tax Act to the parties involved, seeking an explanation for the source of the cash. The parties did not comply with the notice, leading to the cash being treated as unexplained money, the GP said.

PIL challenging conversion of forest land rejected

A bench of the Telangana High Court has dismissed a PIL filed by the Forum for a Better Hyderabad challenging the conversion of forest land for non-forest purposes in Raviryal village and Mamidipally Kancha, Hyderabad.

The petitioner contended that the Forest department of government of undivided AP acquired approximately 15,965 acres from the Nizam on February 23, 1956.

On June 25, 1965, through GO 1,720, the government declared 4,408 acres of this land as a forest block under Section 4 of the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Forest Act. This was followed by GO 253 on April 6, 1972, which notified 4,067 acres as forest land under the AP Forest Act, 1967.

Counsel for the petitioners argued that the land remains forest land under the ownership of the Forest department of Telangana. They claimed that 6,468 acres had been illegally converted for non-forest use in violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and the Supreme Court’s directives in the TN Godavarman Thirumulpad vs. Union of India case.

Appearing for the state, the AAG contended that the petition suffered from delays and laches. He pointed out that no notification under Section 19 of the Hyderabad Forest Act, 1355 Fasli, was issued to declare the land as a reserve forest.

After considering the arguments, the court concluded that the private respondents were bona fide purchasers who developed the land for IT purposes, with the area designated as an SEZ.

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