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Government employee have no responsibility towards the family members legally separated. : Telangana High Court

In the case of a Government employee, “Member of the Family” refers to the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, step-son, or step-daughter, and any other person related to and residing with, such employee and wholly dependent on such employee, but does not include a spouse legally separated from such employee, or a son, daughter, step-son, or step-daughter, was refereed by Justice G.Sri Devi of the Telangana High Court in the matter of Vaidya Aditya v. State [CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 544 of 2020]

This order was given for the fact that Respondent officials filed a complaint in ACB, City Range-2, against the appellant’s father, V.Vara Prasad, the then Additional District Judge, alleging that he owned ‘disproportionate assets’ worth Rs.74,44,460/- and issued an FIR dated 13.11.2018. Following that, the Director-General of the Telangana State Anti-Corruption Bureau submitted a proposal to the government, requesting permission to file an application before the I-Additional Special Judge, for SPE & ACB Cases, Hyderabad, in the above crime via Letter, for the attachment of certain properties held in the name of Vaidya Vara Prasad and his family members. 

Accordingly, the State Government issued G.O.Ms.No.21, Law (LA&J, Spl. B) Department, dated 10.04.2019, authorising respondent herein to file a petition for attachment of Vaidya Vara Prasad and his family members’ properties worth Rs.1,28,56,042/- as described in Annexure I to Annexure V, pursuant to section 3 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 1944. In accordance with the above mentioned G.O., the respondent filed a petition in Crl.M.P.No.20 of 2020 before the I-Additional Special Judge for SPE & ACB Cases, Hyderabad, under sections 3 and 4 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 1944. (Document No.3). As a result, temporary attachment orders were issued by the learned I-Additional Special Judge for SPE&ACB Cases in Hyderabad.

As a result, as correctly stated by the learned Counsel for the appellant, the Respondent has given no document demonstrating that the authorities have done a proper study of the appellant’s sources of income in accordance with the mandate of the aforementioned G.O. This directive is clearly designed to safeguard the accused’s innocent relatives and to prevent the authorities from abusing the power granted to them by the Ordinance to seize property believed to belong to the accused/public worker. The Respondent authorities have apparently abandoned this rule.

According to the learned Special Prosecutor’s arguments, from 03.02.2016 to 07.11.2018, a total amount of Rs.38,84,683/- was received from the United States of America and credited to the Bank Account No.1179101024044 of Canara Bank, Kundanbagh Branch, which is in the name of appellant Aditya Vaidya (Para 4 of Counter). The payment of an Rs.3 lakh advance by the appellant’s grandfather was disallowed by the respondent. Respondent claimed that the appellant’s grandpa, Sri. Uma Shankar, Advocate, does not have the financial means to pay the sum of Rs.3 lakhs.”As per the directions of Vaidya Vara Prasad, Davalji Rajkumar transferred Rs.12,34,000/- in two transactions to the Canara Bank, Kundanbagh Branch account stands in the name of appellant Aditya Vaidya,” according to page 8 of the Respondent’s Counter submitted in this appeal.

This demonstrates the Special Court’s casual approach to the petitioners’ case. Applying the observations made in the aforementioned judgement to the facts of the current case, this Court concludes that the appellant has presented ample documented evidence demonstrating that the said Flat No.B-608, Aditya Sunshine Apartments, Kondapur, Hyderabad was purchased with his own funds. The respondent, on the other hand, has not produced any evidence that the appellant’s father, Accused Officer, contributed any money to the acquisition of Flat No.B-608 or that he paid the total transaction price in the year 2013. The contents of the documents provided by the appellant clearly show that the aforementioned Flat No.B-608 was purchased with his own money and is the appellant’s exclusive property. Respondent should have followed the instructions in Government Memo No.623/SPL.C/A1/2008-1, dated 15.10.2008 and not included the appellant’s asset to his father’s holdings.

For the foregoing reasons, the appeal is granted, and the interim attachment in respect of Item No.1 and Item No.2 of Annexure – III of G.O.Ms.No.21, Law (LA&J, Spl. B) Department, dated 10.04.2019, i.e., Flat No.B-608, Aditya Sunshine Apartments, Kondapur Village, Serilingampally Mandal, Hyderabad, worth Rs.53 lakhs, is raised.

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