HYDERABAD: The High Court on Tuesday dismissed the petitions seeking disqualification of five MLCs and three MLAs under the anti-defection law.
The court ruled that the petitions seeking a direction to the speaker of Telangana legislative Assembly and chairman of the legislative Council to expedite hearing on disqualification of the said legislators were not maintainable.
Justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar passed these orders on two petitions which sought to declare the reluctance of the Assembly speaker and Council chairman to disqualify the said members as illegal.
Telangana Congress whip MS Prabhakar Rao, one of the petitioners, submitted that KR Amos, V Bhoopal Reddy, N Rajalingam, T Bhanu Prasad Rao and S Jagadiswar Reddy had been elected as Congress MLCs but defected to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi later. Their defection attracted disqualification, he contended.
The other petitioner, Telangana Telugu Desam Legislature Party floor leader Errabelli Dayakar Rao, sought disqualification of Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, Teegala Krishna Reddy and Challa Dharma Reddy on similar grounds.
Citing various Supreme Court judgments, Telangana advocate-general K.Ramakrishna Reddy said the petitions were not maintainable. The matter should not be adjudicated when the disqualification applications were pending before the Council chairman and Assembly speaker, he argued.
The petitioners relied on various judgments of the Supreme Court including Mayawati versus Markandeya Chand case, and BS Yeddyurappa case. They said neither the speaker nor the chairman had commenced hearing till now and urged the court to direct them to fix a date for hearing and to decide on the applications.
“Already seven months have elapsed but no decision was taken on disqualification applications submitted by them. In such circumstances, courts could intervene and direct the authorities concerned to decide on pending applications and thereafter conduct the proceedings on a day-to-day basis if need be,” they said.
After hearing both the parties, the judge decided not to go into the merits of the case but confine to maintainability of the petitions.
Justice Afzulpurkar, in his common order, said that none of the said cases referred to by the petitioners related to invocation of the jurisdiction of this court under Article 226 of the Constitution at pre-decisional stage.
He made it clear that the writ petitions filed seeking a direction to the presiding officers of the legislative bodies regarding the pendency of applications against the said legislators under the anti-defection law were not maintainable. While dismissing the petitions as not maintainable, Justice Afzulpurkar said that he was unable to accede to the contentions of the petitioners’ counsel in the case.