Hyderabad excessive courtroom revokes expulsion of two Congress MLAs, large blow to TRS

HYDERABAD: In a big setback to the TRS regime and officials, the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday set aside expulsions of two Congress MLAs, Komatireddy and S A Sampath Kumar, and restored their legislator posts with immediate effect.
The two MLAs were expelled by the Telangana Assembly on March 13 for their alleged unruly behavior in the Assembly during Governor ESL Narasimhan’s address to a joint session of the Legislative Assembly and Council of Telangana, which the authorities said caused an eye injury to council chairman G Swamy Goud.

The MLAs approached HC and challenged the action of the legislature authorities and charged them with acting at the behest of political bosses.

‘State failed to give video footage, expelled MLAs didn’t get notice’

The state initially claimed the legislators deserved punishment as they threw headphones and injured Swamy Goud in the eye, but later backtracked after the court summoned video footage of violence in the House. The state suddenly took a stand that it cannot speak for the Assembly and also differed with its own Advocate General D Prakash Reddy, who had assured the court that he would furnish video footage of the incident. Finding it difficult to continue, the AG resigned while the case was still being heard. Later, the Assembly secretary did not respond to the notice of the court and its order summoning the video footage was not complied with. Aggrieved MLAs told court they had not behaved violently as alleged and the video footage if furnished would prove their innocence.

Justice B who heard the case at length pronounced his judgment on Tuesday ruling that authorities erred in not giving notice to the affected MLAs. “To expel them without a hearing and without giving them an opportunity to explain is legally untenable. The authorities did not follow principles of natural justice in this case,” the judge said. He found fault with legislative authorities for not even supplying copies of the expulsion to MLAs.

It was uploaded on the state portal, 12 days after the expulsions. While declaring that such non-served orders are not valid in law, Justice Siva Sankar Rao had earlier directed the not to commence election process pertaining to the two assembly segments of Nalgonda and Alampur of the expelled MLAs for six weeks. With Tuesday‘s judgment nullifying expulsions, the need for EC to undertake such an exercise does not arise.

“Fair play is part of public policy. Constitution‘s Article 14 speaks about the importance of principles of natural justice. Denying them to individuals will be arbitrary and discriminatory and hence contrary to Article 14 and also violation of fundamental rights,” the judge said. However, he said this order will not come in way if authorities want to take any criminal action against the two MLAs.

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