Expulsion of two Congress MLAs quashed; HC says govt can prosecute them for violent acts

Expulsion of two Congress MLAs quashed; HC says govt can prosecute them for violent acts
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Expelled Congress MLAs — Komatireddy Venkat Reddy from Nalgonda and SA Sampath Kumar from Alampur in Mahbubnagar heaved a sigh of relief with the High Court quashing the orders of Telangana state government against the two Congress MLAs. The Court also set aside the order expelling the two MLAs. The High Court directed the Legislature Secretary to revive their membership of the Assembly.

The Court also made it clear that the State government was at liberty to prosecute the MLAs if it has evidence that the two MLAs resorted to violence in the Assembly, but observed that the decision to expel the duo was not correct.

It may be mentioned here that the Congress members went amuck in the august House while the Governor was delivering his speech in the legislature during the budget session. It was said the Congress MLA from Nalgonda Komatireddy Venkat Reddy raised his hand and hurled his head phone at the Governor with an intention to injure him, but the “missile” missed the Governor and hurt Council chairman K Swamy Goud’s eye.

After conclusion of the Governor’s speech, injured Swamy Goud was rushed to the nearby Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital. Following the violent incident, the Speaker expelled Komatireddy Venkat Reddy along with Alampur MLA SA Sampath Kumar. The Legislature secretariat also issued a G.O. stating that the two MLAs’ membership was cancelled and recommended to the Election Commission to conduct bye-elections to the two Assembly seats.

Aggrieved by the expulsion order, the two MLAs approached the High Court seeking justice as their expulsion from the Assembly was against the democratic norms. The High Court heard the case. In the middle of the case, Advocate General Desai Prakash Reddy tendered his resignation. Later, the Court resumed hearing l and reserved its verdict. The High Court delivered its verdict today setting aside the order expelling the two Congress MLAs from the House.

The High Court struck down the gazette notification issued by the government notifying the vacancies of the two seats and the official note sent to the Election Commission of India asking for the conduct of by-elections to Nalgonda and Alampur assembly seats. The court said Komatireddy and Sampath would continue as MLAs for the rest of their term, as their expulsion from the House was illegal.

It may be mentioned here that on March 13, Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary expelled the two MLAs for the rest of the term of the Assembly and suspended 11 other MLAs for their alleged unruly behaviour against Governor E S L Narasimhan the previous day, when he was addressing the joint session of the Assembly and Council.

The TRS members produced a video clipping in which Komatireddy was seen throwing headphones at the Governor when he was addressing the joint session of the legislature. The Congress members rejected their charge that the Chairman of the Upper House was hurt with the headphone hitting his eye.

Senior advocate Jandhyala Ravishanker, who defended the Congress MLAs said all GOs were automatically stand abolished with the ruling. (NSS)