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Karnataka govt fined Rs 10,000 by High Court for illegal detention of Mangalore editor

Photo: Daijiworld Media Network

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday ordered the state government to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to detained journalist BV Seetaramwhile partly allowing a habeas corpus writ petition by his wife challenging the detention.

In her writ petition, Rohini, managing director of Chitra Publications, had sought release of her husband, editor of Mangalore-based Kannada eveninger Karavali Ale, contending that the detention was unlawful and violative of fundamental right.

“The tendency of obtaining body warrants by the police with an ill-motive is to be deprecated. The police mechanically file applications seeking body warrants without application of the mind. The magistrate also mechanically allows these applications. In this case, though the jurisdictional police were aware of his shifting, a body warrant was obtained,” the court observed in its order.

On February 3, the court had passed an interim order directing police to release Seetaram. A division bench comprising Justice SR Bannurmath and Justice AN Venugopal while partly allowing the habeas corpus petition, ordered the government to pay Rs 10,000 within four weeks to the petitioner as costs.

However, the judges held that the prayer of the petitioner for quashing of the complaints before the trial courts against the detenue could not be gone into under the provisions of Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution nor under Section 482 of the CrPC in view of the decisions by the Supreme Court.

The Sirwa police in Udupi had arrested Seetharam on January 4 following a non-bailable warrant issued by a local court in connection with a defamation suit against him.

Date posted: February 12, 2009Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 1370