HYDERABAD: A division bench of Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Assembly Speaker, presiding officer of the Tribunal under X Schedule of the Constitution, legislature secretary, Election Commission of India secretary and the 12 MLAs concerned to file counter affidavits in the petition filed recently, challenging the merger of two parties, in the State Legislative Assembly.
The Bench was passing this order in the petition filed by Congress MLA Bhatti Vikramarka and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, with a plea to declare the bulletin issued by the State legislature merging the members of Congress legislature party (CLP) with Telangana Rashtra Samithi legislature party (TRSLP) as illegal.
On Tuesday, the Bench also passed a similar order in petition filed in April this year by Bhatti and Uttam, seeking direction to the Assembly speaker to first decide the disqualification petitions pending against some of the Congress MLAs who had defected to TRS before passing orders merging Congress with TRS in the Assembly. The Bench also issued notices in a petition filed by Congress MLC Shabbir Ali, challenging the decision of the Council Chairman for merger of CLP with TRSLP in the Council.
Petitioners’ counsel contended that declaring the merger of a political party / legislature party with another political party was a statutory duty conferred on the Election Commission of India under the Representation of People’s Act, and not a function of the Speaker. All 12 MLAs were elected on Congress party tickets.
However, the bulletin impugned was issued at the behest of the Speaker basing on the letter given by the 12 MLAs, he pointed out.