Vet rape & murder: Telangana High Court orders second autopsy of four.

 The Telangana High Court on Saturday directed re-postmortem of the bodies of four accused in the gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near here last month, who were killed in an alleged encounter on December 6.

The bodies of the four accused are currently preserved in the state-run Gandhi Hospital here as per earlier orders of the High Court, after somePILs were filed alleging extra- judicial killing of the men and claiming it was a fake encounter among others.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy directed Telangana’s Principal Secretary, Medical and Health Department, to request the Director of All India Medical Sciences, Delhi to constitute a medical team with three expert forensic specialists to conduct the second postmortem.

The bench further directed that the second autopsy should be conducted before December 23, and the report with their findings shall be submitted to the Registrar General of the High Court.

After the postmortem the bodies can be handed over to the kin of the four men.

The doctors were further advised to express an independent view on the basis of the evidence collected by them.

The Bench also directed the Chief of the Special Investigation team (SIT) constituted by the State government to investigate into the encounter killings to seize all material objects such as case diary, movement register of the police officials, inventory of the weapons used by the officials in the encounter among others.

The same shall be placed before the Commission constituted by the Supreme Court whenever requested.

The bench passed the orders after hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a direction from the court.

The bench further directed that the state government shall make all arrangements for the air travel of the medical team from AIIMS, for their accommodation and other facilities which would enable them to efficiently discharge the duty assigned to them.

On Friday, the Advocate General of Telangana argued the bodies of the four were already subjected to postmortem as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court and hence there was no necessity for passing any order for a re-postmortem.

However, the amicus curiae D Prakash Reddy had contended the bodies were preserved under the directions of the High Court to consider the necessity of second postmortem and the Supreme Court also endorsed it.

The Supreme Court last week appointed a three-member Inquiry Commission headed by former apex court judge V S Sirpurkar to inquire into the circumstances leading to the encounter killing of the four accused in the gang-rape and murder of the veterinarian.

The commission, which also included former Bombay High Court judge Rekha Sondur Baldota and ex-CBI director D R Karthikeyan, will submit its report to the Supreme Court in six months.

The four accused were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing thewoman veterinarian by smothering her and later burning her body.

Later on December 6, they were gunned down by police at Chattanpalli when they were taken to the site of offence for the reconstruction of the scene of crime as part of the investigation, near the culvert where the charred remains of the 25-year-old veterinarian were found on November 28.

The issue rocked the nation with widespread protests across the country seeking stringent punishment to the culprits.

The “encounter” also came under legal scrutiny.

The first post mortem was conducted on December 6, the day they were killed, in a state-run hospital in Mahabubnagar from where the bodies were subsequently shifted to Gandhi Hospital here.

The Cyberabad police had said its personnel resorted to “retaliatory” firing after two of the accused opened fire at police after snatching their weapons besides attacking the latter with stones and sticks, resulting in injuries to two policemen.

Supreme Court to consider appointing ex-apex court judge to enquire into Hyderabad encounter.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was considering to appoint a former apex court judge to enquire into the encounter killings of four accused persons in the sensational gangrape-and-murder case of a veterinarian in Telangana.

“We are conscious of the fact that the Telangana High Court had taken note of it,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde said, adding that the top court only wanted that a Delhi-based former apex court judge should enquire into the case.

“We propose to appoint a former Supreme Court judge to enquire into it,” the bench, also comprising justices S A Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna, said.

It clarified that the former apex court judge, who would enquire into the incident, would sit in Delhi.

The bench has now posted the PILs, seeking an independent SIT probe into the encounter, for hearing on Thursday.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and advocate Krishnakumar Singh, appearing for the Telangana government, said it had followed the directions laid down by the apex court for an enquiry into encounters and had already referred the case to the state CID.

HC Seeks Details of Action Taken Against Plastic Ban Violators

The Telangana HC on Thursday sought to know within 24 hours from the authorities the details of penal action they took on those who were violating the norms related to plastic use. The bench of chief justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan & Justice Abhishek Reddy was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that wanted the rules to be implemented effectively in view of the ongoing Ganesha idols sale.

All the traders are wrapping the idols with huge plastic covers which are less than permitted thickness of the plastic covers, the petitioner said. By the end of the Ganesh festival there would be huge plastic waste which would pose an environmental hazard, he said.

The CJ bench directed the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to furnish data pertaining to the action taken by them on manufacturers & traders for violating the norms related to plastic use. In how many cases you have imposed penalty etc details. The case will be heard basing on the data tomorrow. Pollution Control Board (PCB) was directed to furnish the details by Friday. The case will be heard again on Friday.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Courts come into being

Separate high courts for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh came into being on Tuesday, more than four years after the latter was bifurcated to create the youngest state in the country.

Thottathil B Radhakrishnan took over as the first Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court in Hyderabad, while C Praveen Kumar took oath as the Acting Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court at Vijayawada.

The governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, E S L Narasimhan, administered the oath of office to them at separate functions. The chief ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, K Chandrashekar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu respectively, were present at the functions in their states.

Since Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh on June 2, 2014, the high court in Hyderabad was functioning as the common high court for the two states.

President Ram Nath Kovind had on December 26 issued orders constituting a separate high court of Andhra Pradesh from January 1, 2019, with the principal seat to be located in Amaravati.

Radhakrishnan was sworn in as the chief justice of the Telangana High Court by Narasimhan at the Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad. Later, the chief justice administered oath to 12 judges of the high court in the court premises. Chandrashekar Rao was also present at the swearing-in of the other judges.

Naraimhan later reached Vijayawda near Amaravati and sworn in the Acting Chief Justice and 13 other judges.

The 13 judges sworn in are Justices S V Bhatt, A V Sesha Sai, M Seetharama Murti, U Durga Prasad Rao, T Sunil Chowdary, M Satyanarayana Murthy, G Shyam Prasad, J Uma Devi, N Balayogi, T Rajani, D V S S Somayajulu, K Vijaya Lakshmi and M Ganga Rao.

According to the president’s order, Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, the chief justice of Uttarakhand High Court, will head the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

Naidu described it as a “historic day”. “I am very happy legal administration is beginning in the state today. With the inauguration of the high court, the state bifurcation process has come to an end, barring distribution of assets.”

As the temporary building to accommodate the high court in the state capital was not ready yet, the state government converted the chief minister’s camp office in Vijayawada into an ad-hoc court premises, which was inaugurated by Supreme Court judge Justice N V Ramana.

While the temporary building is expected to be ready by the end of January, the actual high court complex will be built in another three years.

Advocates from Telangana were in a celebratory mood following the formation of the high court, a long-pending demand.

“Advocates from Telangana are very happy as a long-pending dream of having a separate high court for Telangana has been realised. When two states are formed then separate high courts must be established,” C Damodar Reddy, president of the Telangana High Court Advocates Association, told PTI.

Formation of a separate high court would also be convenient to litigants there, he added.

There were over 2.6-lakh cases pending currently in the Hyderabad High Court, of which about 60 per cent was from Andhra Pradesh, sources had said.

The Hyderabad High Court premises witnessed emotional scenes Monday on the eve of coming into being of the separate high court, with advocates going down the nostalgic lane.

About 1,600 employees were working at the Hyderabad High Court and they would be allocated in the ratio of 58:42 to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively, according to an official.

A section of employees had been sent temporarily to Andhra Pradesh and they would work there till the final allocation was done, the official had said.

The process of shifting files pertaining to the Andhra Pradesh High Court had started and it would continue, the official added.