Pulling up the authorities for not serving summons and warrants issued by a Bellary court to Tourism Minister G. Janardhan Reddy, the Karnataka High Court on Friday sought an explanation from the Home Secretary for the lapse.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice H.G. Ramesh issued the directions on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate G.R. Mohan complaining that the police had failed to execute the warrant for about five months.
Is the Minister an absconder? We need an explanation why the Minister in the State of Karnataka cannot be served with the warrants issued by the court, the Bench observed while directing the Home Secretary to file an affidavit giving the circumstances that prevented service of summons and warrants issued by the magistrate to Mr. Reddy, for five months and 20 days (between April 5, and September 25, 2010).
When Principal Government Advocate Basavaraj Kareddy could not given an answer, the court asked him whether it should seek an answer from the Advocate-General. At this point Mr. Kareddy said that he could not reply offhand as he had to see the order sheets of the magistrate's court that had issued the warrants.
However, the Bench disagreed with his submission terming it a wonderful idea. The Bench asked why police personnel were not attached to courts dealing with criminal cases for service of summons and warrants in Karnataka like in other States.
Even though Mr. Kareddy said that a policeman was deputed for this purpose, he could not explain the exact procedure. Then the Bench asked senior counsel C.V. Nagesh about the procedure followed. Mr. Nagesh said that police constables assigned to the jurisdictional court for following up cases related to their station took instructions from the respective courts.
The court then directed the Home Secretary and the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police to file an affidavit in the court within four weeks about the steps proposed by the State Government in this regard.