HYDERABAD: The Telangana government on Wednesday told the Hyderabad High Court that it has discretion to appoint persons conferring cabinet rank status based on its requirements. The appointment of advisors and special representatives of the government and chairmen/vice-chairmen of state owned corporations and statutory bodies was well within the powers of the government, it noted. Pursuant to earlier direction by the court, Telangana state chief secretary SK Joshi filed counter affidavit in the PIL filed in January last year by A Revanth Reddy, Kodangal MLA and Congress leader, challenging the action of state government in according cabinet rank status to the persons who were appointed in different capacities and who were not part and parcel of the council of ministers of the state i.e. the advisors, special representatives of the government and chairmen of various government corporations.
Recently, Revanth filed a miscellaneous petition with a plea to expedite hearing on the PIL filed by him earlier. The chief secretary, in the counter, stated that the practice of conferring cabinet rank status has been prevalent since a long time both in the state as well as in the Central government.
The conferment of the status of cabinet minister was neither in breach of any provisions of law nor infraction of Article 164 (1A) of the Constitution of India. The appointments made and the conferment of cabinet status were within the jurisdiction, power and purview of the state government. In fact, these appointment were made based on the assessment of the requirements of the newly formed Telangana state keeping in view the best interests of the state. The AP government has also appointed certain individuals as advisors, he noted. When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the bench sought some time to respond to the counter filed by TS.