Telangana HC issues notice to Speaker, ECI secretary and other respondents in CLP - TRS merger
The Telangana HC refused to consider the State additional advocate's plea and issued notices to the council chairman, legislature secretary, ECI secretary, and four MLCs for filing counters.
HYDERABAD: In a significant development on the petitions filed challenging the merger of Congress legislature party members with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislative party in both the State Assembly and council, a division bench of the Telangana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to all the respondents for filing counter affidavits on the petitions filed separately challenging the merger of one political party with another in the legislative council and Assembly.
Among the respondents are the tribunal under X Schedule of the Constitution/legislative council chairman and Assembly speaker, legislature secretary, Election Commission of India secretary, and the MLCs and MLAs concerned. The matter was adjourned for four weeks for filing the counter-affidavits.
The bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akther, passed this order on petitions filed separately by Congress leader and MLC Mohd Ali Shabbir and MLA Bhatti Vikramarka and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy.
In December last year, Ali Shabbir challenged the decision of the council chairman for the merger of the CLP with the TRSLP in the council, in terms of X Schedule of the Constitution, allotment of seats to CLP council members along with TRSLP members, and issuance of a bulletin by the legislature secretary for this purpose.
Refuses to adjourn hearing for a month
State additional advocate general J Ramachandra Rao urged the court to adjourn the hearing for a month, saying there was no urgency in the matter. He added that senior counsel from Supreme Court Harin Raval, who was appearing for the State government, and the council chairman, would be out of the country. The court refused to consider this plea and issued notices to the council chairman, legislature secretary, ECI secretary, and four MLCs — MS Prabhakar Rao, K Damodar Reddy, T Santosh Kumar and Akula Lalitha — for filing their counters.
In another petition filed in April this year, Congress MLAs Bhatti Vikramarka and N Uttam Kumar Reddy sought direction to the Assembly Speaker to first decide the disqualification petitions pending against some Congress MLAs who defected to the TRS before passing any orders of merging the Congress with TRS in the State Assembly. On Monday, another petition was filed by MLA Bhatti and MP Uttam Kumar Reddy, challenging the Speaker’s decision to merge CLP members with the TRSLP, and it is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday.
When the above two petitions came up for hearing on Tuesday, the petitioners’ counsel Ravi Shankar Jandhyala told the court no hearing had taken place on the petition filed by Shabbir Ali since last December, and the matter was simply adjourned several times. In another petition by Bhatti and Uttam, their counsel Ravi Shankar submitted that though the Speaker was given a letter requesting him to inform the political status of the 10 MLAs, the Speaker ignored this aspect and went ahead to merge the Congress MLAs into ruling TRS party in the Assembly.