The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, was appalled by a notice issued by the Telangana High Court, stating that its Vacation Benches would not entertain writ petitions and criminal petitions for quashing FIR/ Chargesheet, etc.
Clause 3 of the Notice titled 'Instructions as to filling of cases to be beard in the Summer Vacation Court on 05.05.2022', inter alia, stated as under -
"No Writ Petitions and Criminal Petitions filed to Quash FIR/Charge Sheet and relaxation of conditions of Bail/Modification Petitions/Petitions seeking extension of interim orders in pending matters will be entertained."
The Telangana High Court was closed for Summer Vacation on 02.05.2022, which is to continue till 03.06.2022.
Senior Advocate, Mr. V. Chitambaresh, apprised a Bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia that the petitioners were constrained to approach it in view of the restriction in the notice dated 30.04.2022 issued by the High Court. Taking note of the same, the Bench issued notice to the Registrar General of the Telangana High Court.
"At the oral request of the Counsel for the petitioner, the Registrar General of the High Court be added as one of the parties. At this stage we issue notice to the Registrar General of the High Court returnable on 20.05.2022. Liberty to serve upon Mr. P. Venkata Reddy Standing Counsel for the State. The copy of the order to be sent electronically to the Registrar of the High Court."
The present writ petition has been filed by the accused persons against whom an FIR has been registered, on 18.02.2022, for offences of cheating, forgery etc.
Senior Advocate Chitambaresh submitted - "We would have normally gone to the High Court, but because of the circular we are here."
Justice Lalit enquired whether the circular has been issued by the High Court or the vacation bench judge.
"By the High Court," Chitambaresh responded.
Bemused by the restrictions imposed by the notice, Justice Lalit stated- "By the High Court that no S. 482 Application would be listed?"
Chitambaresh informed the Bench that such practices are prevalent in some other states as well. Thus, he impelled the Court to take serious note of the issue.
Seeking further clarification, Justice Lalit asked the Senior Counsel, "This is for only 05.05.2022?"
Chitambaresh responded, "No. The whole of summer."
Case Title: Mohammed Mujahid Uddin Siddique And Ors. v. State of Telangana WP (Crl) No. 194 of 2022