Hyderabad: A two-judge panel of the Telangana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice A Rajasekar Reddy on Thursday dismissed two writ pleas dealing with the Disha Commission of Inquiry headed by a former Judge of the Supreme Court. The writs were filed challenging the commission order rejecting claims of police officers that they shall be treated as independent witnesses and be examined after other witnesses are examined. The petitioners argued that the very issuance of such orders by the inquiry commission was in contravention of the provisions of the Inquiry Act. The panel dealt with provisions of the Act and pointed out that the commission was empowered to regulate its procedure. It also pointed out that the inquiry is ‘inquisitorial’ rather than ‘accusatorial’. They reasoned that there is no list before the commission and its findings ‘are neither a decision, nor they are enforceable’. “It is not open to the petitioners to state that they have to be examined as independent witnesses”, the panel said.
EC order on Dalit Bandhu upheld
The panel upheld the power of the Election Commission to defer the implementation of the Telangana Dalita Bandhu scheme in the Huzurabad Assembly constituency. M Laxmaiah contended that such an order by the commission was illegal and violative of SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. A plea to the contra filed by Watch Voice of the People was also disposed of by a common order. In the latter writ, the petitioners wanted the commission to intervene and stop the transfer of money to the voters of Huzurabad. The panel, speaking through the Chief Justice, accepted the argument of Avinash Desai, counsel for the Commission, that the EC had the power to impose such a temporary embargo and that it was done to ensure a level playing field.