Telangana Governor, government reach truce on HC suggestion

A resolution to the row came after both sides softened their stand. While the government agreed to conduct the budget session with a speech from the Governor, the latter agreed to approve the budget.

Hyderabad: The stalemate between Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government over the state budget for 2023-24 was amicably resolved through talks on Monday on the suggestion of the High Court.

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Hearing the state government’s petition seeking direction to the Governor to approve the budget, the court suggested both sides resolve the issue through talks.

On the court’s suggestion, the state government’s lawyer Dushyant Dave and Raj Bhavan’s lawyer Ashok Anand held talks.

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It was decided that the Governor will give a nod to the budget and the state Assembly session will begin with her address.

The lawyers of both sides informed the court of the breakthrough after which the agreement, the government withdrew its lunch motion petition and the case was dismissed.

A resolution to the row came after both sides softened their stand. While the government agreed to conduct the budget session with a speech from the Governor, the latter agreed to approve the budget.

The court took up a hearing of the lunch motion petition moved by the state government. During the hearing, the division bench asked the Advocate General how the court could give notice to the governor, and also wanted to know why the court is being dragged into a controversy between the government and a Constitutional institution.

Appearing on behalf of the government, Supreme Court lawyer Dave submitted that when the Constitution is violated, courts can intervene. He cited some judgments of the Supreme Court.

However, the court advised the lawyers from both sides to sort out the issue through talks. They both agreed to the suggestion and it finally led to a patch-up.

With the budget session of the state legislature scheduled to begin on February 3 and the Governor not approving the budget, the government led by K. Chandrasekhar Rao had approached the court.

The government informed the court that the state government sent the draft budget to the Governor on January 21 but she was yet to approve the same.

The government received a communication from Raj Bhavan if arrangements had been made for the Governor’s address on the opening day of the budget session.

The government last year conducted the budget without the customary address by the Governor, drawing a strong reaction from her. The BRS government defended its move on the ground that it was not a new session but a continuation of the previous session.

The Budget session of the Assembly and Legislative Council is scheduled to begin on February 3. With only four days to left and no approval of the budget coming from the governor, the government approached the High Court.

The BRS leaders anticipated a crisis as seven Bills passed by the Assembly and Council have been languishing at Raj Bhavan since September last year.

The government has taken exception to the Governor’s delaying approval of the budget. It argued that the Governor’s speech and the Budget presentation were unrelated matters. It also says that there is no clause in the Constitution that requires the Governor to address the Budget session.

The BRS government cited Article 202 of the Constitution, which mandates that a Governor must give permission for presenting before the House a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditures of the state for a financial year.

With the BRS government approaching the court, the friction between the Governor and the government had taken a new turn.

It came close on the heels of a row over the Republic Day celebrations. The Governor was unhappy over the government arranging the main official ceremony at Raj Bhavan.

On a petition filed by a citizen, the High Court had directed the government to hold a police parade as part of the celebration. Though the government made last-minute arrangements for the police parade, the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues skipped the function at Raj Bhavan.

The Governor had slammed the government for what she called not honouring the High Court orders.

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