HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed the state government not to take any coercive step against the applicants till the Supreme Court adjudicates the cases filed against the implementation of the Layout Regularisation Scheme (LRS) and the Building Regularisation Scheme (BRS).
It also directed the State Advocate General (AG) to serve copies of the recent Supreme Court order on the issue to the High Court and the petitioners for perusal. The High Court said it will hear the pending batch petitions filed on the LRS and BRS issues only after the Apex Court adjudicates the matter.
A division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, passed this order in a batch of PILs filed by the Forum for Good Governance — an NGO represented by its secretary M Padmanabha Reddy, Congress MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, advocate P Sreedhar Reddy and others.
It has challenged the constitutional validity of GO 131 which was issued on August 31, 2020, for the regularisation of unapproved and illegal layouts under the LRS in the rural and urban areas of Telangana.
The petitioners’ counsels urged the court to declare the Rules 10 and 13 of the Telangana Regularisation of Unapproved and Illegal Layout Rules, 2020, issued vide GO 131, as illegal as the impugned Rules were subjecting the common people to penalisation without any fault of theirs.
In another PIL filed in 2016, the NGO had challenged GO 146 — issued on October 31, 2015, amending Section 455-AA of the GHMC Act, 1955 — and GO Ms No. 152 — dated November 2, 2015, to regularise illegal constructions in the GHMC limits. Such a scheme would encourage the people to have illegal layouts, the NGO noted.
The NGO also noted that people would construct buildings with a view that the government will regularise them in future.When the matter came up for hearing, AG BS Prasad informed the court that in December, 2020, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the Centre, National Disaster Management Authority, Central Bureau of Investigation and the States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana to respond to the petition filed against the implementation of LRS. The Apex Court had issued the notices while dealing with a petition filed by Juvvadi Sagar Rao from Karimnagar.
As every State has been regularising layouts, the Supreme Court had also impleaded all the States and Union Territories and issued notices to them to respond on the issue in eight weeks. The matter is expected to come up for hearing before the SC next month, he said. The High Court bench posted the matter to April 28.
‘HC order a tight slap in government’s face’
The High Court’s direction against taking any coercive step regarding the implementation of the LRS is a tight slap in the face of the State government, Bhongir Congress MP and petitioner Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said on Wednesday. At least from now on, the government should refrain from introducing such schemes, he said. He demanded an open apology from Chief Minister KCR for causing mental agony to the people. “The Chief Minister has made the people suffer with his Tughlaq rule,” he said
HC to hear petitions after SC adjudicates matter
The HC directed the State Advocate General to serve copies of the recent SC order on the issue to the High Court and the petitioners for perusal. It will hear the pending batch petitions only after the Apex Court adjudicates the matter.