Governor hears case against ministers

 The Governor summoned the three ministers on a petition filed by Congress MLC K C Kondaiah seeking their disqualification alleging that they were indulging in illegal mining. Their continuing in the Cabinet would influence decisions in favour of their business activity, the petitioner alleged.

Advocates - Ravishankar and Yadav represented the ministers at Raj Bhavan. The hearing was adjourned for June 3.

Kondaiah, in his petition submitted on January 13, had contended that as per the Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act 1951, a person (people’s representative) shall be disqualified if he enters into a contract in the course of his trade or business with the government.

He said the three ministers had been into mining either directly or indirectly through many mining companies in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He said even under the provisions of the Article 102 and 191 of the Constitution of India, the ministers attract disqualification for holding offices of profit. They held positions of directors in many mining companies.

According to advocate Ravishankar, who represented the Reddys, the petitioner had not made charges, which warrant disqualification of the ministers. The Governor’s office had served the notices on three ministers seeking their legal assistance on the petition. 

“The petition is only hurling abuses and has no substance in it. One of the objections we raised was to sending notices with respect to the complaint by Kondaiah. We have presented our arguments before the Governor. The Governor is himself a learned counsel, who practiced in the Supreme Court. I am hopeful he will take right decision”, he said.

The Governor has powers to act upon questions raised on disqualification of peoples’ representatives. As per the Article 192 of the Constitution, his decision on the issue will be final. He, if required, can obtain opinion of the Election Commission.

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