Andhra Pradesh: Centre hints at President's rule - The New Indian Express

Andhra Pradesh: Centre hints at President's rule

Published: 03rd September 2013 07:54 AM

Last Updated: 03rd September 2013 12:39 PM

Making it clear that the Central government has not taken a decision on the state bifurcation issue till date, the Assistant Solicitor General on Monday informed the AP High Court that the Centre would consider imposing the President’s Rule in the state if the Governor sends a report on failure of law and order.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice K C Bhanu was hearing a public interest litigation filed by V Ravi Kumar, advocate of the city, seeking to declare the ongoing indefinite strike by APNGOs and Seemandhra Secretariat Forum as illegal.

During the course of hearing, the Chief Justice asked the counsel for the central government to tell about the steps taken by the Centre on the state bifurcation issue.

In reply, Assistant Solicitor General Ponnam Ashok Goud said that the Centre has been closely observing the state situation but as far as action on employees’ strike was concerned, the issue would come under the purview of the state government. Regarding the other steps, the Centre would think of imposing the President’s Rule if the Governor sends a report on failure of law and order in the state. The Chief Justice directed the ASG to place his arguments in the form of a counter affidavit.

On the other hand, senior counsel CV Mohan Reddy, arguing for the APNGO’s association, defended the strike saying employees’ rights, service conditions and their livelihood would be adversely affected due to the bifurcation decision. The strike call was given expressing the intention of abstaining from work in tune with the opinion of the public at large in the state. The demonstrations undertaken by the service associations have been peaceful, non-violent, non-coercive and unprovocative, he said.

Intervening, Justice Sengupta said that the employees’ services were not affected and they were given options when Uttarakhand state was created. As per the Service Rules, employees would not get affected even if the state is divided. The Chief Justice further said that the issue was at a premature stage as the Centre has not taken a decision on state bifurcation. It would be hypothetical to raise apprehensions before a decision was taken on it.

The senior counsel said that a political decision has been taken by the ruling parties to bifurcate the state. Even the Prime Minister told the APNGOs that “it was too late”. Nothing remains once a gazette notification was issued by the Central government on the issue. The rights and protection enjoyed by the state government employees in AP are unique compared to other states because of the Article 371-D, which is a special provision for AP. The PIL filed against the strike was not maintainable, he contended.

Petitioner’s counsel S Satyam Reddy said that the state government has been supporting the strike which began on August 12. As per Service Rules, the APNGOs are not entitled to go on strike.

State government counsel Ch Naidu said that adequate measures have been taken to avoid public inconvenience. The Chief Justice said he would not allow any party to file additional affidavits in the case.

The matter was posted for further hearing to September 16.

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