Court asks EC not to announce schedule for by-elections in Telangana

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Hyderabad, March 19 (IANS) In temporary relief to two Congress legislators expelled from Telangana Assembly last week, the Hyderabad High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission not to issue poll schedule for by-elections in their constituencies for six months.

Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and S.A. Sampath Kumar had approached the court challenging their suspension from the House and also a gazette issued by the Legislature Secretary notifying vacancy for Nalgonda and Alampur (SC) Assembly constituencies.

Justice B. Siva Sankara Rao also directed the Legislature Secretary to produce by March 22 video footage of the incidents that took place during Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan’s address to the joint session of Assembly and Legislative Council on March 12.

The opposition Congress members tried to disrupt the Governor’s address on the first day of the budget session of the state legislature. Amid the ruckus, the Congress members threw headphones, injuring Council Chairman K. Swami Goud in his eye.

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The next day, the Assembly passed a resolution expelling two Congress members and suspending 11 others for the rest of the session.

The Congress leaders, in their petition, argued that that they were not given any notice or opportunity to explain the alleged obstruction or interruption or undignified behaviour at the time of Governor’s address, but they were singled out as the Chief Minister had a personal vendetta against them.

Appearing on behalf of Legislature Secretary and the Department of Legislative Affairs, Advocate General Prakash Reddy submitted to the court that the Governor’s address come under the ambit of the department. He argued that when members behave in a manner which lowers the dignity of the legislature, the House has the powers to expel them.

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The court adjourned further hearing in the case to March 26.

–IANS

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