Hyderabad: A two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice A Rajashekar Reddy on Monday reserved orders in a batch of public interest litigation cases challenging the Election Commission’s direction to defer the implementation of Dalit Bandhu Scheme till the completion of Huzurabad by election.
Petitioner Mallepalli Laxmaiah represented by counsel V Raghunath contended that since the Dalit Bandhu scheme was implemented prior to the Model Code of Conduct coming into place through election notification, it can go ahead and does not amount to any unfair play on the part of the government. He further contended that since it was a beneficial legislation, the ECI cannot stay implementation of a scheme aimed at uplifting the downtrodden communities.
On the other hand, the petitioners opposing the implementation of scheme till the completion of the scheme argued that the scheme may be processed but the amounts may be released only after the completion of election process. The panel hearing all the parties at length, reserved the case for orders.
Examination of witnesses by Inquiry Commission
The same panel on Monday reserved orders in cases filed by Vasam Surendar, DSP CID and Konda Narsimha Reddy, Inspector of Police. The petitioners were called as witnesses under the commission witnesses by the Inquiry Commission, constituted by the Supreme Court. The commission was constituted to enquire the police encounters of the accused in the unfortunate rape and murder incident of Disha. The petitioners contended that they were not given opportunity to be heard before enlisting them as state list witnesses. They would not be able to defend if they are commission witness and pleaded they should be called as independent witness. They contended that provisions of Commission of Inquires Act, or Rules made thereunder does not allow the persons assisting the commission to examine or cross examine the witnesses. The procedure that is now being adopted is totally contrary to provisions of law, said the petitioners. Not allowing petitioners to be independent witnesses and examination of the petitioner prior to commission witnesses is contrary to law and hence the entire process is liable to declared improper, argued the petitioners. The panel reserved the case for orders.
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