A Telangana resident has approached the Supreme Court, contending that the decision taken by the state's chief minister to dissolve the Assembly has resulted in about 20-lakh young voters being deprived of their right to cast votes in the ensuing election.
He questioned the Governor's September 6 decision in accepting the CM's “hasty and undemocratic” recommendation to dissolve the House, several months before its term ends.
He challenged a decision by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court that dismissed the plea on October 12.
A group of counsel representing the petitioner, Pothuganti Sheshank Reddy who is a resident of Siddipet district, moved a house motion before the Supreme Court registrar but he declined to list the matter on urgent basis.
The petition, which is likely to come up for hearing after the Dasara vacations, maintained that, had the Assembly been allowed to last its full term i.e till April 2019, about 20-lakh new voters would have joined on January 1, 2019 in the voters' list.
“The preponement of elections due in April 2019 and the non-invocation of the discretionary power by the Governor in not summoning the house and taking it into confidence, has resulted in an anomaly of disenfranchisement of 20-lakh first time voters.” the petitioner contended.
He also claimed that the Telangana Cabinet has failed to honour the spirit of constitutional democracy by not taking the Legislative Assembly into confidence before recommending an early dissolution of the House.
The elections to the Legislative Assembly, now scheduled for December 7, cannot be ‘fair and free’ to the extent that it would not reflect the will of the people.
As the Representation of People Act is rigid on fixing January 1 of every year as the qualifying date for releasing the updated electoral roll, the petitioner said, he has to go beyond and question the procedure adopted by the Governor.
“In the absence of any emergent situation or special circumstances, warranting a fresh mandate from the electorate, the decision would deprive the people of their valuable constitutional and statutory right to franchise, guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, read with Section 62 of Representation of People Act 1951,” the petitioner said.