HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the YSRC MLAs who have joined the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh. They have been asked to file counter affidavits to a PIL that was filed on Monday seeking their disqualification from their posts. Besides, the bench directed the four state ministers, who were given cabinet berths after switching their loyalty from YSRC to ruling party, to explain under which provisions of law they were continuing in the posts. The bench also issued notices to the AP state law secretary and legislative assembly secretary for filing counter affidavits on the issue.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice K Vijaya Lakshmi was passing this order in a PIL filed by A Venkata Rambabu, ex-MLA from Markapuram in Prakasam district. The petitioner sought their disqualification under the Anti Defection Law. As many as 22 MLAs who have won on YSRC ticket in 2014 election have joined the ruling TDP between March 1, 2016 and Nov 27, 2017, of them four have become State ministers.
Senior counsel CV Mohan Reddy, appearing for the petitioner, urged the court to declare all the 22 MLAs who defected to ruling party as ‘ineligible’ as they have ridiculed the Constitution. Though complaint was lodged before the Assembly Speaker on defections, no notice was served to those MLAs till date. Even cases were filed before the high court on the same issue earlier, but the case came up for only one hearing. How the four defected MLAs could enjoy cabinet minister posts when their defection itself was against the Constitution?, he pointed out.
After hearing the case, the bench issued notices to the respondent MLAs and the four ministers for filing counter affidavits. It also directed the state law secretary and assembly secretary to file counter affidavits on the issue, and adjourned the case by two weeks.