HC dismisses pleas against Telangana Assembly dissolution

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Friday dismissed pleas challenging the dissolution of Telangana Assembly nine months ahead of the completion of its term.

The petitioners had sought the court to declare as unconstitutional the dissolution of the Assembly by the Governor on the state cabinet’s advice without ascertaining the views of the members of the House.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice S. V. Bhatt, observed that there was no merit in the contentions by the petitioners.

While dismissing the petitions, the bench made it clear that it is not proper for the court to interfere with the democratic process as the Election Commission has already announced the election schedule.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government on September 6 had recommended dissolution of the Assembly to pave way for early elections and the same day Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan accepted the recommendation.

Former Minister and Congress leader D.K. Aruna, former MLA Komireddy Ramulu, advocate P. Shashank Reddy and others had moved the high court challenging what they call the unilateral decision of TRS cabinet.

The petitioners contended that the Governor dissolved the Assembly on the advise of the cabinet without convening the House, thus violating Article 174 of the Constitution.

They also argued that because of the dissolution, about 20 lakh youth, who would be turning 18 by January 2019, had lost the opportunity to exercise their right to franchise.

The court, however, did not agree with the argument by the petitioners that the Governor’s action was unconstitutional. It observed that the elected government had absolute majority in the state Assembly and its recommendations were accepted by the Governor. It further observed that the court cannot interfere with the discretionary powers of the Governor.

The Election Commission last week announced the schedule for the Assembly elections in Telangana. As per the schedule, the polling will be held on December 7 and counting would be taken up on December 11.