Justice Chandra Kumar of A.P. High Court pulls up police for its action

Even though the Andhra Pradesh High Court had granted The Hindu’s Resident Editor anticipatory bail in a case concerning a news story that the State’s police chief has objected to, a posse of policemen barged into his residence here on Saturday morning ostensibly to issue a notice requiring him to appear in the local police station.

Eight uniformed policemen forced their way into S. Nagesh Kumar’s house after pushing aside the watchman. Three of them walked right into the dining hall and questioned his 81-year-old mother and daughter on his whereabouts.

Around the same time, Inspector Tirupathi Rao of the Panjagutta police station and G.N. Sastry, public relations officer in the office of Director-General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy, called up a reporter of The Hindu, asking him to inform Mr. Nagesh Kumar that he had to be present at the local police station in connection with a complaint in support of Mr. Reddy, following the publication of a report about the latter’s visit to a godman in Old City.

Mr. Nagesh Kumar’s daughter said: “It was clearly an attempt to intimidate the family.”

The A.P. Working Journalists’ Federation has protested against the police highhandedness, while a delegation of Indian Journalists’ Union and A.P. Union of Working Journalists met Punjagutta police and demanded action against the guilty policemen.

Legal Correspondent adds:

When the matter was brought to his notice by Mr. Nagesh Kumar’s counsel, Justice Chandra Kumar of the A.P. High Court expressed unhappiness at the police action. .

The judge then sent for the public prosecutor and when the advocate representing the prosecutor came, he directed him to inform the police of the Court’s order. Justice Kumar reminded him that the orders were pronounced after both sides argued their case.