Telangana

Telangana HC issues notices to State government over lawyer couple murder

Advocates of Telangana High Court protesting against the murder of lawyer couple Gattu Vaman Rao and P. Nagamani, in the court premises in Hyderabad on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Observing that the gory killing of advocate couple practising at Telangana High Court as “most unfortunate”, Chief Justice Hima Kohli issued suo motu notices to the State government on the matter.

When the bench of the CJ and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy assembled to hear the matters listed for the day, some lawyers raised the issue of the twin murders. The CJ announced that the HC was seized of the matter and directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad, who was present during the online proceedings, to accept notices on behalf of the State government.

Expressing concern over the blatant manner in which the lawyer couple was killed, the bench remarked that it was sad that lives of lawyers whose goal was to save people were at risk. Lawyers espouse the cause of clients and their lives being lost was a matter of serious concern, the bench felt.

The CJ told the AG that the notice should go to all respondents concerned including from the top police officials to the House Officer of Ramagiri police station, jurisdiction of which, the twin murders were committed. The CJ instructed the AG to “file a status report” on the case and conduct the investigation properly.

All the material evidence, including the forensic evidence, should be preserved. Referring to the video clips, in which Vaman Rao lying ion the road with bleeding injuries was seen taking the names of the accused , the bench said all such evidence must be traced in its original form and preserved for presentation before the court.

In another video clip, two persons were seen inflicting multiple injuries on Rao who slumped to the ground. These videos which went viral on social media should also be an important evidence, the bench said.

Chief Justice Hima Kohli made it clear that the court would not direct the police on how to investigate the case but was only highlighting the finer points required for proper building up of the case so that tomorrow the prosecution should not come with excuses of not able to present clinching evidence.

Responding to a lawyer’s suggestion that investigation of the case be assigned to an independent agency, the CJ made it clear that it was time now to focus on investigation of the crime.

Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy suggested to the AG that two RTC buses with passengers were seen in a video clip as the killers were attacking Rao. They had seen the murders live and would become crucial eye witnesses to the twin murders, the judge said. They should be taken as witnesses, he said.

The AG assured the bench that he would advise the police department to ensure thorough investigation. Towards that end, the CJ instructed the AG that there should be time-bound investigation and hoped that the investigators would live up to the expectations of the bar. “Nobody can take the law into their hands,” the CJ said.

The matter was posted to March 1 for next hearing.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 5:38:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-hc-issues-notices-to-state-government-over-lawyer-couple-murder/article33868289.ece

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