Experts weigh in as Telangana Guv refuses to send Dasoju Sravan, Kurra Satyanarayana to Council
Governor’s decision is likely to have political ramifications, especially during election time, as the pink party may see it as yet another attempt by the BJP-led Union government to create trouble.
HYDERABAD: In a surprise move, Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday rejected the proposal of the State Cabinet to nominate BRS leaders Dasoju Sravan and Kurra Satyanarayana to the Legislative Council under Governor’s quota, stating that both of them lack the knowledge or practical experience in their relevant fields.
The Governor’s decision came at a time amidst talk of bonhomie between the Raj Bhavan and Pragathi Bhavan after Tamilisai visited the Secretariat and appreciated the government. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had invited her to the inauguration of a temple, mosque and church in the new Secretariat on August 25.
The Governor’s decision is likely to have political ramifications, especially during election time, as the pink party may see it as yet another attempt by the BJP-led Union government to create problems for the BRS government. However, legal experts say that the Governor’s decision was ‘correct’, as she rejected the nominations citing Constitutional provisions and the lack of knowledge and practical experience of Sravan and Satyanarayana in their respective fields.
The State Cabinet, in the first week of August, had recommended Sravan and Satyanarayana for nominating to the Legislative Council under Governor’s quota. However, after examining the nominations for over one and half a month, the Governor wrote that they were rejected.
“My earnest request to the Cabinet and Chief Minister is to avoid such politically aligned persons to fill up nominated posts under Article 171(5) of the Constitution, defeating its objectives and enactment and consider only genuinely eminent persons in the respective field,” the Governor said in her separate letters addressed to the chief minister and the chief secretary.
Guv correct in her decision: Former A-G
Stating that the Governor was correct in her decision to reject the proposal to nominate Dasoju Sravan and K Satyanarayana to the State Legislative Council under the Governor’s quota citing ‘lack of knowledge or practical experience’ in their relevant fields, Constitutional expert and former advocate general of Telangana K Ramakrishna Reddy explained that now there were two options before the State government.
The first option is that the chief secretary provides necessary material stating that the two persons had knowledge and practical experience in their relevant fields and recommends their names again for the Legislative Council under the Governor’s quota.
The second option is that the government selects two other persons having knowledge and practical experience in fields like education, science and others and recommends their names to the Governor.
All cabinet decisions not binding on guv: Expert
Constitutional expert and former advocate general K Ramakrishna Reddy pointed out that the Governor had exceptional powers under the provisions of the Constitution and all the decisions of the Cabinet are not binding on the Governor.
Article 163 is not applicable in this case, as the Governor specifically mentioned that the two persons did not have the required knowledge or practical experience as per the provisions of Article 171 (5). There would be no use even if the government took the legal remedy, as the Governor’s rejection was based on the provisions of the Constitution. The court might not intervene in the case, Ramakrishna Reddy said.
Reasons cited by the Guv
DASOJU SRAVAN: “The summary of Dr Dasoju Sravan Kumar indicates his active participation in politics, corporate and academic sector. His summary does not indicate any special achievements in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service, which appears to be from the summary, a short tenure. There is no apparent consideration of the fulfilment of the pre-conditions required under Article 171(S) of the Constitution of India. Except the summary, no other details or documents are enclosed or sent to me. The methodology adopted in his consideration for nomination as Member of Legislative Council is also not enclosed. There are no reports either from the Intelligence or other agencies indicating that he does not incur disqualification mentioned under Section 8 to 1 1(A) of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951. The entire file relating to the consideration of all the relevant records and the criteria required to be fulfilled by the Constitution and the note file before the Cabinet and the chief minister evidencing the consideration of all the relevant records have not been enclosed along with the recommendation. The bereft of the above, just a summary without any documentation in support thereof showing the fulfilment of the criteria mentioned above, it will be inappropriate for me to consider and nominate Dasoju Sravan Kumar as a Member of Legislative Council,” the Governor said in the letter.
SATYANARAYANA: “The summary of Kurra Satyanarayana indicates his active participation in politics and corporate trade union activities. His profile summary does not indicate his special knowledge in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service, which appears to be from the summary a short tenure, which will not come within the purview of Article 171(5). There is no apparent consideration of the fulfilment of the preconditions required under Article 171(5) of the Constitution of India. Except the profile and summary, no other details or documents or the methodology adopted in his consideration for nomination as Member of Legislative Council are enclosed. There is no report either from the Intelligence or other Agencies indicating that he does not incur disqualification mentioned under Section 8 to 1 I -A of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951”, the Governor said in the other letter.
“There are several eminent non-politically affiliated people eminently recognised in our State, fulfilling the pre-requisites prescribed under article 171(5) of the Constitution of India. Non-consideration of those people and consideration of politically aligned persons to fill the post earmarked for nomination in those fields will be a de-recognition of the merits and non-recognition of the contribution of those people with special knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned in the article 171(5) of the Constitution of India and these sorts of nominations intending to fill up the specially nominated posts will make the article 171(5) purposeless, which may not be intention of the Legislation and it will take away the opportunities to genuine people fulfilling those qualifications,” the Governor’s letter said.
It may be recalled that the Governor had held back the file relating to the nomination of another BRS leader, Padi Kaushik Reddy, as an MLC under the Governor’s quota in November, 2021. The Governor, at that time, did not reject the nomination but just held back the file. With the inordinate delay in taking a decision regarding Kaushik Reddy’s nomination, the BRS sent him to the Legislative Council under the MLAs’ quota.
Procedural Lapse By Raj Bhavan
However, legal experts said that the Governor writing a personal letter with her signature to the chief secretary was not correct procedurally. The Governor can write a letter in her personal capacity to the chief minister. Any communication to the chief secretary should be from Raj Bhavan through the secretary of the Governor, legal experts opined.
Guv in Vijayawada
When reporters asked about her decision, Tamilisai, who was attending a programme marking the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya in Vijayawada in the evening, said: “This is not a platform and the reasons for the rejection have been clearly mentioned in the letter”.