HC sets aside Cong MLAs' expulsion from Telangana Assembly

Komatireddy Venkatreddy and Sampath at hunger strike after suspension.

Giving respite to Congress legislators Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar, who were expelled from the Telangana Assembly for their unruly behaviour, the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday set aside the Speaker’s order and the subsequent gazette notification issued by the state government and restored their membership.

The court directed that the two expelled legislators could continue to be members of the Telangana Legislative Assembly till the end of their term, with facilities that they were enjoying before. High Court judge Dr Siva Sanker Rao also held that the Assembly order of expulsion was in violation of principles of natural justice. The court, however, said that the government was free to take disciplinary action against them if there is concrete evidence.

Void

“We argued that the joint session was held a day before the budget session began as per the notification given by the Speaker. Moreover, the governor's speech was a mere executive deed and not legislative. Hence the expulsion by the Assembly speaker is void,” said Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, counsel for the expelled MLAs.

The two legislators were expelled by Speaker Madhusudana Chary on March 13 for their alleged "unruly" behaviour in the Telangana Assembly during the speech of Governor E S L Narasimhan on March 12 during a joint session. The headphones flung by Komatireddy allegedly hit Council Chairman Swami Goud, who was rushed to Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital. The vacation of Nalgonda and Alampur seats in the wake of the expulsion of MLAs was conveyed to the Election commission in the form of a gazette notification.

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