HYDERABAD: Wondering at the decision of the Telangana government in completing the entire pre-poll process for conduct of elections to municipalities in the State as per the old Telangana Municipalities Act, a division bench of the Telangana High Court on Wednesday asked the government counsel to state about the need to pass a new Telangana Municipalities Act, 2019 in the State Assembly for which the Governor has not given his consent as he had some objections. The bench questioned the government for drastically reducing the time limit to complete the entire pre-poll process from the earlier 109 days to eight days which was unrealistic, and sought an explanation on the issue.
“Reducing the time limit should have been a reasonable one, but not so drastic. The action of the Telangana government will send wrong signals to the general public, who will form an opinion that the government has hijacked the entire poll process rather people will ponder on the aspect as to whether the government has completed the entire pre-poll process in haste”, the bench observed and directed the government counsel to place before it the Ordinance brought in by the government for holding municipal elections, and to explain the difference between the old and new Acts.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akther was dealing with two PILs filed by advocate K Anjukumar Reddy from Nirmal district and S Malla Reddy from Medchal seeking stay on issuance of the notification to conduct municipal elections and to re-conduct entire pre-poll exercise in the manner prescribed under the Telangana Municipalities Act and the Rules thereunder.
The State government had earlier filed a counter-affidavit stating that it was committed to conducting elections to the municipalities at the earliest and that it has completed the election process duly complying with the directions given by a single judge as to the objections raised regarding the pre-election process. It urged the court to dismiss the PILs and to set aside the orders of the single judge who had granted interim stay on elections to several municipalities. After hearing both sides, the bench directed the AAG to place the Ordinance before it and adjourned the case hearing to August 16.