Telangana HC issues notice on suspension of BJP MLAs

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the State Legislature Secretary on a petition by three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs challenging their suspension from Assembly.

Raghunandan Rao, Eatala Rajender and T. Raja Singh have filed a petition challenging their suspension from the House for the entire business session.

Their counsel Prakash Reddy argued that their suspension was against rules of the Legislative Assembly and the Constitution. The MLAs alleged that they were suspended in a pre-planned manner.

The legislators sought direction declaring the action of the Legislature Secretary in suspending them as illegal and in violation of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly, as well as Articles 14, 21, and 194 of the Constitution.

Advocate General B.S. Prasad submitted to the court not to intervene in the legislative affairs. After hearing arguments from both sides, the court issued notice to the Legislature Secretary and adjourned the hearing to Thursday.

All three MLAs of the BJP were suspended from the Assembly for the entire session by Speaker Pocharam Srinivas Reddy on Monday.

Taking strong exception to the commencement of the budget session without the Governor’s address, the BJP legislators tried to disrupt the proceedings.

On a resolution moved by the government, the Speaker announced their suspension for the entire session.

The MLAs filed a writ petition in the high court challenging their suspension and seeking a direction to permit them to attend the session till its completion.

They contended that they were suspended when they were trying to register their protest against the blatant violation of the Constitutional mandate of having the Governor’s address.

The MLAs said they had entered the Assembly Hall wearing black shawls as a mark of protest and were trying to raise the issue of the scrapping of the Governor’s address.

The legislators said the Speaker paid no heed to the requests and asked the Finance Minister to present the Budget.

After some time, MLA Raja Singh started walking towards the Speaker’s direction to catch his attention and kept imploring for an opportunity to speak, the petition said.

The petition said that this was a normal course of events in any session of the Legislature and has happened on innumerable occasions in the past.

The petitioner pointed out that members of another opposition party (Congress) had also asked the Speaker to hear them on the same issue.

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