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Telangana Politics

Telangana High Court refuses to stay BJP legislators’ suspension

Published : Mar 12, 2022 17:15 IST T+T-
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BJP MLAs Eatala Rajender (front row, second from left), T, Raja Singh (third from left) and M. Raghunandan Rao (second from right) protesting outside the Telangana Assembly, in Hyderabad on March 7.

In a setback to the three suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators in Telangana, the Telangana High Court has dismissed their interim plea seeking a stay on their suspension from the entire Budget session of the Assembly.

Declining to overturn their suspension, Justice Shameem Akther of the High Court cited Constitutional restrictions imposed on the courts when reviewing alleged arbitrary actions of the Legislative Assembly. The judge pronounced the orders after hearing arguments for three days from both sides.

The three BJP legislators—M. Raghunandan Rao, Eatala Rajender and T. Raja Singh—who were suspended for the remaining period of the Budget session of the State Legislative Assembly on March 7, had approached the High Court seeking a stay on their suspension and a direction to the government asking it to furnish the copy of the resolution suspending them.

The Speaker had suspended the three legislators for the entire Budget session after T Srinivas Yadav, Minister for Animal Husbandry, moved a motion to suspend them.

Though the judge said that a detailed examination of the issue would be taken up later, he concurred with the Telangana Advocate General B.S. Prasad who argued against any court interference in legislative affairs. The judge said: “Even if some of the material on which the action was taken is found to be irrelevant, the court would still not interfere so long as there is some relevant material sustaining the action.”

Appearing for the BJP legislators, senior counsel D. Prakash Reddy alleged that the suspension was pre-planned and done in a matter of minutes. He argued that Rule 340 of the Assembly Rules gives the power to name and suspend a member exclusively to the Speaker and not to anyone else. Said Prakash Reddy: “In this case, the naming of the members to be suspended was done by the Animal Husbandry Minister and, hence, the suspensions are illegal.” The petitioners also contended that the authorities did not provide them with any material with regard to their suspension.

During the course of arguments, the petitioners submitted a pen drive containing video footage of the proceedings of the entire Budget session of March 7 in an attempt to substantiate their allegations. Newspaper clippings were also submitted.

But the judge, after going through the clippings and the video footage, ruled that there was no clear indication as to what exactly had prompted the Minister to move a motion against the three legislators. The judge also ruled that there was no major violation of Rule 340.

Said the judge: “For now, there is no prima facie case in favour of the three legislators to hold that the Assembly resolution suffers from substantial illegality and jurisdictional error. Rule 340 says the members can be suspended only for the remainder of a session and the suspensions also speak about the current session only.”

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