Telangana speaker gets HC notice on turncoat MLAs
HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Hyderabad high court on Tuesday issued notices to the speaker of Telangana legislative assembly and chairman of Telangana legislative council directing them to respond to the allegations of Congress and TDP, which charged the two constitutional authorities with ‘inaction’ in deciding on the disqualification petitions pending before them.
Both parties sought disqualification of turncoat legislators under the anti-defection law as they got elected on Congress and TDP tickets and later joined the TRS without relinquishing their elected posts. Both the speaker and chairman are constitutional authorities with certain judicial powers and as per the tenth schedule of the Constitution, can deal with disqualification pleas pertaining to legislators. Courts have generally refrained from issuing notices to the speaker and council chairman, but the Hyderabad high court deemed it fit to do so on Tuesday.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Sanjay Kumar was dealing with two pleas filed by the Congress whip in the council, M S Prabhakar Rao, and TDP floor leader in the assembly, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, who urged the court to declare the ‘inaction’ of authorities as illegal and sought setting of a timeframe to decide on the disqualification petitions. As many as five Congress MLCs and three TDP MLAs switched loyalties to the TRS. “Though we urged the speaker and the council chairman to disqualify the defectors, they are not even taking up the matter for hearing,” their advocates told the court.
Earlier, a single judge of the high court dismissed the pleas saying that the court would not intervene at a premature stage like this when authorities are yet to adjudicate the matter. Aggrieved by this, the current appeals were filed by the TDP and Congress which came before the bench headed by the CJ. Apart from speaker S Madhusudhanachary and council chairman K Swamy Goud, the bench issued notices to all the 8 legislators. Five Congress MLCs_KR Amos, V Bhupal Reddy, N Rajalingam, T Bhanu Prasad Rao and S Jagadeeswar Reddy and three TDP legislators Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Teegala Krishna Reddy and Ch Dharma Reddy have to explain their case to the court in the form of an affidavit.
Counsel for the petitioners, Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, mentioned the decision of the Supreme Court which gave three months time to the speaker of the Punjab assembly to decide the disqualification pleas pending before him. CJ Sengupta said that they are not in favour of giving any direction to the two constitutional authorities but instead decided to request them to decide the matter and issued notices to them.