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Telangana High Court takes suo motu cognizance of lawyer couple’s daylight murder

The panel directed a proper investigation into the matter stating that ‘the incident has shaken us all from our stupor’. The bench also voiced concern in the manner in which in broad day light a couple were done to death.

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The division bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B. Vijaysen of the Telangana High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognizance of the murder of a lawyer couple near Hyderabad.

The advocate couple, who practice at Telangana High Court, were hacked to death by two persons in broad daylight on the main road near Kalvacherla village in Peddapalli district.

The couple from Telangana, who had complained of harassment due to public interest litigations filed by them, was murdered in broad daylight. Advocates Gattu Vaman Rao and his wife P.V. Nagamani were returning to Hyderabad after attending a court case in Manthani, when their vehicle was intercepted and they were stabbed multiple times by some unidentified men.

The couple was rushed to a nearby hospital where they succumbed to injuries this afternoon.

Advocate Nagamani had alleged that her husband was falsely implicated in a FIR and she was threatened over phone that by getting involved in this case, she is not only risking her life but also the lives of her children and other family members.

Rao and Nagamani had filed a PIL against alleged custodial death of Sheelam Rangaiah in Manthani. Advocate Nagamani prayed before the Court to issue directions for registration of an FIR and also conduct a judicial enquiry into the death of Sheelam Rangaiah.

The couple had alleged that Rangaiah was brought to the Manthani Police Station and was kept in the lock-up for four days. During this period, he was allegedly subjected to custodial torture. Subsequently, unable to bear the police atrocities, it was claimed that Rangaiah died in lock-up under suspicious circumstances on May 26, 2020.

In September 2020, the couple had moved an application before the Court, alleging that they are being threatened by the Police Department. Upon which, the Court directed the DGP, Telangana, to ensure the couple is not harassed. The High Court had also extended protection granted to them.

The bench directed a proper investigation into the matter stating that “the incident has shaken us all from our stupor”. The bench voiced concern in the manner in which in broad daylight a couple were done to death.

Advocate General B.S. Prasad assured the Court that nobody would be spared and every attempt would be made to book the culprits, prosecute and punish them effectively and efficiently. That pictures in the media show two state-owned buses at the site and therefore the passengers must be identified and be produced as witnesses before the Court, he said.

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