SC refuses to stay Telangana Bill

Decision dampens spirits of united Andhra Pradesh supporters

SC refuses to stay Telangana Bill

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay tabling of the Telangana Bill in Parliament, saying it did not want to interfere at this stage.

A bench comprising justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde declined to pass any direction to the Centre on a batch of petitions challenging the creation of Telangana.  The bench referred to its earlier order on November 18, 2013, when it said it was premature to entertain any petition regarding the opposition to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

 “We do not see any change in the stage between November 18, 2013 and today. So we decline to interfere at this stage,” the bench said.

However, it clarified that the averment made in the writ petitions were open to be entertained at an appropriate stage.

Those who were opposing the proposed creation of Telangana sought a stay on tabling of the bill, saying that there was a likelihood that the bill would be tabled in Parliament on February 10.  If it became a law, it could become irreversible.

They also submitted that since the Andhra Pradesh Assembly had unanimously rejected the draft bill, it should not be allowed to be tabled in the same form. The bench passed the brief order after almost a one-and-a-half hour hearing during which all petitioners were heard. 

The verdict has dampened spirits of Seemandhra campaigners, including Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy. The decision totally dispirited him. 

There were rumours that the chief minister could resign after the bill was tabled, or on Monday when the bill would be placed in Parliament or after the budget session of the Assembly and completion of a vote on account budget for 2014-15.

The dharna he headed in Delhi earned him encomiums from the media, but, it did not go down well even with his own supporters. His supporters from Seemandhra, particularly Union ministers and MPs, found fault with him.  The lathicharge on Telangana ministers and MLAs who tried to block his way to the dharna further hardened the Telangana Congress MLAs and ministers. 

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