HYDERABAD: Arguments concluded on Thursday before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akther dealing with the petitions filed separately by S Ramulu Naik, K Yadava Reddy and R Bhoopathi Reddy challenging their disqualification from the MLC posts by the Legislative Council chairman in January this year.
On an earlier occasion, the bench, in its interim order, directed the ECI not to issue election notification to the three MLC seats. The bench impleaded the Centre in the case as various ‘Constitutional issues’ were raised by R Bhoopathi Reddy against the decision of the Council chairman in disqualifying three MLCs from their posts and terming it as contrary to the basic principles specified in para 8 of X Schedule of the Constitution.
On Thursday, additional advocate general J Ramachandra Rao, appearing for the Council chairman, submitted relevant records to the court to prove that Ramulu Naik had taken the primary membership of TRS. He was nominated in the Governor’s quota to MLC post in ‘social service’ category. In Oct last year, he went to Delhi and joined the Congress. Ramulu Naik was disqualified as he had left the TRS and joined the Congress, he noted.
Intervening, the bench reminded that the petitioner’s counsel had claimed that Ramulu Naik did not belong to any political party and was nominated in the Governor’s quota in recognition of his social service activities, and asked the AAG to submit material to substantiate his arguments.
In reply, the AAG said that the required material was placed before the Council chairman and the latter had decided to disqualify Ramulu Naik.
Advocate Gandra Mohan Rao, appearing for government whip Palla Rajeshwar Rao, told the court that the decision to disqualify Ramulu Naik was taken in accordance with law. The petitioner had indulged in anti-party activities despite having primary membership in TRS.
Senior counsel D Prakash Reddy, appearing for Yadava Reddy, told the court that his client was disqualified based on media reports that he has joined the Congress party. There was no truth in such reports. Joining the Congress party was a mere presumption. No opportunity was given to the petitioner to defend himself before the Council chairman, he pointed out.
Advocate Anand Kumar Kapoor, appearing for Bhoopathi Reddy, told the court that the Council chairman has disqualified the petitioner based on the newspaper reports and audiovisuals which allegedly stated that the MLC has defected into the Congress. When the ruling party itself has agreed that all the Congress MLCs were merged with TRS, the question of petitioners defecting into Congress does not arise, he argued.
Concluding the arguments in the above three petitions, the bench directed the counsels to make their submissions in writing and reserved its orders to a later date.