Phone-tapping case: HC restrains media from writing names, phone nos of judges while reporting

Telangana High Court

Telangana High Court


Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court’s division bench, comprising CJ Alok Aradhe and Justice T Vinod Kumar, on Wednesday directed the “print and...

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court’s division bench, comprising CJ Alok Aradhe and Justice T Vinod Kumar, on Wednesday directed the “print and electronic media" not to mention names of judges or any family members, while reporting on the phone-tapping case.

The bench in its Interim order said "it has been noted that the media, including the English daily (DC) newspaper, while reporting on the Suo Motu writ petition on phone-tapping case named a judge of the HC, as well his mobile number ”.

The court is not inclined to pass any orders in this PIL as a counter-affidavit has been filed, but, this court hopes and trusts that the print and electronic media exercises restraint, while reporting with respect to this matter".

Further, the print and electronic media should exercise caution, while reporting on phone tapping cases, observed the CJ. Andhra Jyothi, Sakshi Telugu newspapers and Deccan Chronicle reported on the phone- tapping issue elaborately, publishing the photograph of Justice K. Sarath of the HC and his mobile number in the news item. Andhra Jyothi even carried the passport photograph of Justice Sarath. A group of police officers under the supervision of former special Intelligence Branch chief T Prabhakar, tapped the mobile numbers of the judges, politicians, real estate business persons.

On June 4 the bench, during hearing of the petition issued notices to the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, State Chief Secretary, DGP, Principal Secretary (Home), Additional DGP (Intelligence) and CP Hyderabad, directing them to respond within three weeks.

The court took up the phone-tapping case as Suo Motu by converting the item published in an English (DC) newspaper, City edition, dated May 29 under the caption "HC judge's mob. tapped: Ex-ASP" Suo Motu writ petition.

Hearing in the case was adjourned to July 23.

Disqualification of BRS MLAs who defected to Cong: Writs to be heard today

On Wednesday, A Maheshwar Reddy, BJP MLA (Nirmal), filed a writ seeking a direction to the Assembly Speaker to disqualify Danam Nagender, MLA (Khairatabad), who joined the Congress and even contested the recent Lok Sabha elections and lost.

Reddy informed the court that he had visited the Speaker’s office on July 1 armed with the disqualification petition of Nagender, but the speaker was not available. He contended that the speaker’s staff bluntly refused to take the petition and also refused to give an acknowledgment to the effect that the petitioner has submitted the petition.

The writ petition filed by Padi Kaushik Reddy, BRS MLA (Huzurabad), seeking disqualification of Danam is pending before the HC for adjudication. This is the second writ seeking disqualification of Danam.

Apart from the fresh writ filed on Wednesday, two petitions seeking disqualification of BRS MLAs who joined the Congress are pending adjudication in the HC. All the three writs will be heard by Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy on July 11.

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