February 16, 2019:
On Friday, emphasizing the inherent jurisdiction of the Court to punish those who have committed contempt, the Telangana High Court took State Law Secretary V. Niranjan Rao and Assembly Secretary V. Narasimhacharyulu into custody.
Justice B. Siva Sankara Rao, who passed the order, hinted that then Speaker S. Madhusudhana Chary, DGP M. Mahendar Reddy and the superintendents of police of Nalgonda and Jogulamba Gadwal districts could face similar consequences if they failed to explain to the court by March 8, why they ignored the contempt notices served on them.
Justice Sankara Rao was dealing the contempt petitions filed by Congress leaders Komatireddy Venkata Reddy and Sampath Kumar, who had been expelled from the previous Assembly by Mr Chary but whose membership was restored by the court.
Justice Sankara Rao directed the Registrar (Judicial), N. Narsing Rao to take Mr Niranjan Rao and Dr Narasimha-charyulu into custody when they appeared on Friday, after the court had issued warrants against them for not appearing before it despite being repeatedly called to explain why they had not implemented the court order.
After obtaining personal bonds and submission of an undertaking that they would appear for further hearings, the registrar let the officials free.
Justice Sankara Rao said that if the DGP and the then SPs of Nalgonda and Gadwal didn’t heed the court ordes by the next hearing, he would consider addressing the Union home ministry to produce the DGP before it for failing to appear in contempt cases.
The Court also impleaded Mr Chary, the then Speaker, as a respondent in the contempt case and issued notices.
Speaking of Additional Advocate General J. Ramachandra Rao, Justice Sankara Rao observed, ‘This Court has no mind to unnecessarily harass the AAG, he had bluntly on the face of the judge said ‘what nonsense the court wants to take’ and (by) describing the court proceedings as ‘nonsense’ has demeaned the majesty of the Court.’
Justice Sankara Rao said, “Each and everyone is equal in the eyes of law and the judiciary will prevail.”
Senior Counsel Vedula Venkataramana persuaded the Judge not to issue a contempt notice to the AAG as he was yet to put forth his submission.
The Judge warned that the issue would be taken to the notice of the Supreme Court.