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HC dismisses TRS plea seeking expulsion of 2 Congress MLAs from Telangana assembly

Twelve TRS MLAs had challenged the revocation of the two Congress MLAs’ expulsion, saying it had damaged the dignity and decorum of the House.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2018 20:09 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
TRS,Telangana assembly,Congress MLAs
On May 13, Telangana assembly Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary expelled Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar for the rest of the term of the assembly for their alleged unruly behaviour in the House(HT File Photo)

The Hyderabad high court on Monday dismissed a review petition of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi seeking expulsion of two Congress MLAs from the Telangana state assembly for their alleged misconduct in the House on the first day of the budget session on March 12.

A division bench comprising acting chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice K Vijayalakshmi upheld the verdict given by the single judge on April 17 revoking the expulsion of Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Alampur MLA S A Sampath Kumar.

In their review petition, 12 TRS MLAs challenged the judgement of the single judge stating that the two Congress MLAs had damaged the dignity and decorum of the House and hence, the House had passed a unanimous resolution expelling the duo for the rest of the assembly’s tenure.

Supreme Court senior counsel and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi who argued on behalf of Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar asserted that a group of TRS MLAs had no authority challenge the court verdict, as only the assembly Speaker or the secretary had the right to appeal.

On May 13, a day after the alleged misconduct, Telangana assembly Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary expelled Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar for the rest of the term of the assembly for their alleged unruly behaviour in the House the previous day when Governor E S L Narasimhan was addressing the joint session of the assembly and legislative council.

The TRS produced a video clipping in which Venkat Reddy was seen throwing headphones at the podium and alleged that it had hit legislative council chairman K Swamy Goud, sitting beside the Governor, resulting in an injury to his eye.

Within hours of the Speaker announcing the expulsion of the MLAs, the Telangana government had issued a gazette notification, notifying the two vacancies in the assembly and sent the same to Election Commission of India requesting it to conduct the by-elections for the vacant seats.

Subsequently, the two MLAs moved the high court, challenging the expulsion. Venkat Reddy argued that he had not intentionally thrown the headphone at the podium and that it had not hit the legislative council chairman.

“There are no visuals as to where the headphone has fallen. Though there were at least two cameras focussing only on the podium, the TRS members did not produce any evidence to show that the headphone had indeed hit Swamy Goud’s eye,” Singhvi argued.

During the hearings, the high court called for the visuals of the entire assembly proceedings of the day. But the counsel for the government could not produce any visuals despite adjourning the hearing a few times, eventually leading to the resignation on May 27 of Advocate General D Prakash Reddy who argued the case for the government.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and assembly speaker S Madhusudhana Chary resign from their seats on moral grounds, following the court verdict.

First Published: Jun 04, 2018 14:30 IST