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HC pulls up Telangana govt over death of pregnant girl, her newborn

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The Telangana High Court on Monday took a serious note of the tragic death of a pregnant girl from Jogulamba Gadwal district who was denied treatment and made to run from hospital to hospital as she hailed from Covid-19 containment area.

The court took suo moto notice of a letter written by a lawyer. Through the letter, the advocate argued that the pregnant girl 20-year-old Jenila and her new-born died as they did not get treatment at the right time. In the letter, the advocate placed the facts of the case before the court. The advocate contended that the pregnant woman had to go through a traumatic experience of being referred to six different hosptials and was forced to travel 200 kms. He contended that the doctors were too scared to admit without conducting Covid-19 tests.

She was first taken to Gadwal District Hospital after she complained of labour pains, but was referred to another hospital. After waiting for more than an hour for an ambulance, her husband Mahendra shifted his wife to Mahabubnagar Government Hospital. Doctors at the government hospital referred her to Koti Government Maternity Hospital as she was found to be anaemic with high blood pressure. At the Koti Government Maternity Hospital, doctors asked her to first get Covid-19 tests as she hailed from a containment area in Jogulamba Gadwal district. Jenila was taken to the Gandhi Hospital for Covid-19 tests. The tests showed Jenila negative for the tests. She was later admitted to Petlaburj Maternity Hospital for delivery and gave birth to a baby boy who was shifted to Niloufer Hospital where he died during treatment. As Jenila’s condition turned critical, she was admitted to the Osmania General Hospital where she died.

The heart-rending story moved the High Court and pulled up the state government for not taking non-Covid-19 cases seriously. The court ordered the state government to ensure that the ambulances are available to non-Covid 19 patients and admit pregnant women and other emergency cases without causing any kind of inconvienence to them.

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Telangana HC seeks report on measures in Hyderabad containment zones, pulls up police

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Expressing concern over the high concentration of corona positive persons under the GHMC limits, the Telangana High Court on Friday sought a report from the state government on the measures being initiated in Hyderabad where the number of containment zones is high.

Hearing a batch of petitions filed by various individuals via video-conferencing, the HC directed the Hyderabad police department to exercise restraint in dealing with the general public during the complete lockdown. The court sought a detailed report from DGP Mahender Reddy on the reports of excesses by the police personnel on the people while enforcing the lockdown regulations.

The High Court directed the government to submit by April 24 on the testing facilities and the gamut of measures the government had initiated to contain the spread of the virus in the State, especially in Hyderabad as city has the highest number of containment zones.

A total of 135 containment zones have been demarcated in the city based on positive cases, which have been barricaded to prevent contact between those inside with outsiders.

Health Minister Etela Rajender in a recent press meet attributed the high numbers to the Tablighi Jamaat attendees and their secondary contacts. The health minister said that 640 of 700 so far tested positive for Covid-19 in the state are attendees of Tablighi Jamaat conclave in Delhi and their contacts. Barring 50-60, all others found infected were returnees from Markaz in Nizamuddin, their family members and contacts, he said.

On Friday, IT & MAUD minister directed the ministers and officials concerned to strictly enforce the lockdown regulations in all the corona cluster containment zones. With more than 135 containment zones in Hyderabad limits, KTR seems to leave nothing to chance. With the lockdown entering the second phase, KTR asked the officials to intensify screening in clusters of the virus around the city and put in place restrictions, even harsher than the lockdown, which would stop the virus from spreading beyond containment zones.

K T Rama Rao directed the officials to ensure that not a single individual steps out of their residences and barricade all the colonies in the containment zones so that people stay indoors. Further, he asked the officials to ensure doorstep delivery of essentials such as groceries, milk and vegetables, arguably the biggest reason why people are forced to leave the relative safety of their homes.

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Telangana HC serves notices to health ministry, DGP

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The Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state to file its reply to a petition seeking protection of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff in the face of attacks on medical personnel during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Telangana High Court served notices to the state government, including the health ministry and the DGP asking the state to respond immediately on the action initiated against the attacks on doctors and medical staff at Gandhi Hospital. Taking suo moto notice of a letter written by an advocate who raised serious concern against the attacks on health workers, the High Court asked the state government the measures initiated to protect the medical staff in discharging their duties in the fight against the corona virus.

Last week, hearing a petition filed by Telangana Jana Samithi vice-president Prof. P L Visheshwar Rao, the High Court directed the state government to submit an interim report by April 9 and a complete report by April 15 on the measures it had initiated with regard to providing required personal protective equipment to doctors, paramedical staff, nurses and ward boys to combat Covid-19, availability of medicines, food to patients, quarantine facilities to foreign returnees.

The petitioner contended that the state government had failed to provide standard graded protective gear including N-95 masks, testing kits, sanitizers, personal protective equipment for all medical professionals and health workers involved in the treatment of corona virus patients. A bench headed by justices R S Chauhan and A Abhishek Reddy took up the matter for hearing.

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Telangana HC take suo moto notice of higher prices of essentials

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The Telangana High Court on Wednesday took serious note of traders and vendors selling essential commodities at exorbitant prices taking advantage of the lockdown declared by the state government.

The High Cout took suo moto notice of reports carried in various newspapers about the traders in the state selling essential commodities at higher prices by cashing in on the outbreak of Corona virus.

As per the directive of the government, only one person from each family is allowed to step out of their homes to buy essentials from 7 am to 6:30 pm. Taking advantage of the lockdown and subsequent panic that stock will be running out, vendors have increased vegetable prices fourfold in Rythu Bazar and other markets in the city. It is learnt that several traders are hoarding stocks to further hike the prices.

The High Court may ask the State government to take measures to control the prices of essential commodities.
The State government had set up a panel comprising officials from the Civil Supplies, Agriculture and Horticulture and Marketing department to monitor the markets in the state and take action against those who sell essentials at a higher prices. Despite these measures, the traders were selling essentials at exorbitant prices.

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Revanth land grabbing issue: HC records statement of Advocate General

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The Telangana High Court on Friday recorded the statement of the Advocate General of the state BS Prasad that the government would act as per due process of law on the issue of Gopanapally lands pertaining to Congress MP A Revanth Reddy and his brother Kondal Reddy. He also told the HC that the government had not initiated any action in the issue so far.

Following this, a single judge bench headed by Justice A. Rajasekhara Reddy disposed off the petition filed by Revanth reddy and his brother.

In their petitions, the two brothers have urged the HC to issue directions to the state government to not interfere with the peaceful possession and enjoyment of land owned by them in Gopanapally village of Sherilingampally mandal in Ranga Reddy district. They told the HC that the RDO and the Tehsildar of the area came to the land of the petitioner located in Survey No 127 of the revenue village and asked them to hand over the possession of the same without following any due process of law. They also said that the two officials conducted the inquiry on their land without serving any notice on them.

They urged the HC to declare the action of the officials of the state government in trying to takeover their land on the basis of the report submitted by the RDO on February 28,2020 was illegal, arbitrary and and violative of principles of natural justice.

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Telangana HC issues notice to TS Govt on land allotment to director N Shankar

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The Telangana High Court on Thursday issued notices to the Telangana state government and revenue authorities concerned and asked them to file counter affidavits in Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed challenging allotment of five acre prime land to Tollywood film producer and director N Shankar at a nominal price of Rs 5 lakh per acre at Shankarpally area of Ranga Reddy district.

A division bench of the High court has asked the state government and other authorities to file their counter affidavits in four weeks time.

It may be recalled that director N Shankar has close association with TRS chief and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Shankar supported KCR during Telangana statehood agitation between 2009 and 2014. He also actively participated in Telangana statehood agitation.

Shankar produced and directed “Jai Bolo Telangana” film in 2011 during the peak of Telangana statehood agitation.

The film played a key role in igniting Telangana sentiment among people and helped KCR to intensify the agitation.

After Telangana State was formed and KCR became CM in 2014, Shankar submitted a proposal to state government seeking land allotment for construction of a studio.

The Telangana cabinet headed by KCR approved allotment of land to Shankar in June 2019 for a nominal price of Rs 5 lakh on city outskirts, where the current market rate is in crores.

This was challenged by few individuals in the High Court who filed PILs against TS cabinet’s decision.

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TS High Court halts municipal polls notification

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The Telangana High Court on Monday asked the state election commission (SEC) to not issue the municipal election notification till Tuesday evening. A division bench of the high court comprising of the Chief Justice of the state Justice RS Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy passed the orders while dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy. The Court also directed the SEC to submit election manual, rules and regulations and related material including a copy of the notification before it tomorrow. In his petition , Reddy challenged the election schedule issued by the SEC to conduct the elections to different municipalities and municipal corporations in the state and urged the court to issue directions to reschedule the election notification to hold elections. The court later adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

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Hyderabad encounter: HC orders second autopsy

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The Telangana High Court on Saturday ordered second autopsy on the bodies of four accused of Hyderabad veterinarian’s rape and murder case who were gunned down by the police in an alleged encounter on December 6.

The court directed Superintendent of Gandhi Hospital to get the autopsy done by a team of forensic experts from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), New Delhi, before 5 p.m. on December 23 and hand over the bodies to the families.

A division bench of Chief Justice R.S. Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy asked the authorities to videograph the autopsy and submit the same to the court.

The court passed the orders on a PIL filed by social activist K. Sajaya and others. The PIL, filed in the Supreme Court, was forwarded to the High Court to take a call on the bodies.

Gandhi Hospital Superintendent P. Shravan Kumar personally appeared before the court and informed the bench that the bodies may get totally decomposed in five days.

The court also directed Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the alleged encounter, to seize the weapons used in the encounter and send the same to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

The SIT was also asked to collect FIR, case diary and other records in the case and submit the same to Judicial Commission constituted by the Supreme Court to probe the encounter.

Mohammed Arif (26), Jollu Shiva (20), Jollu Naveen (20) and Chintakuntla Chennakeshavulu (20), all accused in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinary doctor who were killed by police at Chatanpally near Shadnagar town, about 50 km from Hyderabad. Police claimed that the accused attacked the police team escorting them, snatched their weapons and opened fire, but all four were killed in the retaliatory fire.

The police had taken them to reconstruct the crime scene at Chatanpally, where they had allegedly burnt the body of the victim on the night of November 27 after committing the gang-rape at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The gruesome rape and murder had triggered national outrage with demands for immediate death penalty to the perpetrators.

While the killing of the accused in the alleged encounter was hailed by a section of people, the families of the deceased and human rights groups alleged that the police took law into its hands. Terming this as extra-judicial killings, some groups had moved the Supreme Court.

The apex court appointed a judicial commission to enquire into the episode and submit a report within six months.

The first autopsy on the bodies of the accused was conducted on December 6 at government-run hospital in Mahabubnagar. The bodies were later shifted to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad for preservation.

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Telangana HC’s green light for RTC privatisation

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The Telangana High Court on Friday dismissed a petition against the state government’s decision to privatise 5,100 routes of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

The court dismissed the Public Interest Litigation filed by Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) leader P. L Visweswara Rao, challenging the state cabinet’s decision to grant permits to private operators to buses on 50 per cent of TSRTC routes.

The judgement, which has paved the way for part privatization of TSRTC, has come as a shot in the arm for Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government in the current standoff over the strike by TSRTC employees, which entered 48th day on Friday.

Though the striking employees have expressed their willingness to resume the work, they wanted the government to take them back without any conditions and restore the status which existed before they went on strike on October 5.

The government, however, made it clear on Thursday that given the serious financial crunch, it is not possible to run TSRTC the way it was being run.

A meeting presided over by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao till late Thursday discussed the situation in the wake of recent development and the willingness of the employees to end the strike.

The government, however, said it will decide the future course of action after the High Court pronounces its order on privatisation of TSRTC routes.

The High Court had earlier referred the issue relating to the strike to Labour Commissioner and refused to pass orders to the government either to hold talks with employees or take them back immediately.

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HC fires at Telangana police over Ravi Prakash cases

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The KCR government and its friendly realtor Rameswara Rao have targetted TV 9 CEO Ravi Prakash in a very unusual way. Following this, the police are filing one case after another apparently to confine RP forever within the four walls of jail. The vendetta politics reached such a nasty point that even the High Court expressed shock and disbelief over how Ravi Prakash is being hunted down by the police.

The court commented badly on how the police are unabashedly trying to misuse the judiciary to harass persons like RP. The judges pointed out that there’s a clear motive behind the police filing a fake email case against Ravi Prakash only to get his bail rejected. A new case is registered just when RP is expected to get bail in the bonus case filed by the Alanda Media. Are the police making fun of the judicial system?

Expressing total anger, the High Court ordered the Telangana police to submit to it all the cases that are filed against Ravi Prakash till now. The judges asked whether the police are taking directions from elsewhere in order to keep RP behind the bars permanently.

The RP lawyers are appealing to the court to make the police disclose details of those who are behind the political and police harassment of RP.

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Is Secretariat demolition necessary? Telangana HC

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The Telangana High Court asked the Chandrasekhar Rao government whether there is any need for demolishing existing buildings in Secretariat in Hyderabad. The court also asked whether the newly acquired Andhra Pradesh buildings are not enough to meet the additional requirements. The court is hearing arguments put forward by the Additional Advocate General and also the petitioner’s advocate.

A person named PL Visweswara Rao made the petition saying that the Government is unnecessarily demolishing Secretariat buildings by making wasteful expenditure of public money. When the court asked why it should interfere with administration, Rao’s advocate argued that Telangana is already in debts and the court should intervene in public interest.

Additional Advocate General told the court that the existing Secretariat buildings do not have enough safety facilities as per fire department reports. The court pointed out that such reports came up only after the Cabinet decided to construct new Secretariat buildings. AAG later said that the government was intending to construct a big building complex where all departments could be located in one place.

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Telangana High Court questions need for new Assembly building

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The KCR government is facing a tough time defending its proposed project to construct a new Assembly complex. The Telangana High Court asked the government whether there’s a need to construct new buildings as the old buildings have all the facilities right now. The court is hearing arguments in public interest litigation which pleaded for the protection of historical structures in Erramanjil prime locality.

The High Court also found fault with the government for going ahead with the demolition of the historic buildings without showing proof of the permission taken from the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. The court asked why is it that the government is not able to specifically say whether it has got permission from the required authorities to demolish historic structures.

Many hurdles are being put since the KCR government began making efforts to move the Assembly from its location to some other place where more space is available for constructing modern buildings with the latest facilities. All Opposition parties are criticising the government move in this regard.

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Telangana High Court questions demolitions

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Problems continue for CM K Chandrasekhara Rao’s move to construct new Assembly building in place of Erramanjil historic buildings. Now, the Telangana High Court questioned the KCR government based on which law it is going to demolish the historic monuments. Some petitioners argued before the court that Erramanjil are in the list of heritage structures which should not be allowed to be demolished by the government.

The government is arguing that the structures are not historical buildings and they have been removed from the list of heritage monuments already. The demolitions are being taken up to construct new buildings for Assembly in this location. The present Assembly buildings are not spacious enough to conduct the proceedings of the House.

The petitioners told the court that the government is going to waste lot of public money on the new Assembly buildings though there is no immediate need for the same. These works will be taken up if the demolition of historic buildings are allowed now. These buildings were built during the time of Nizams and they should be protected for future generations.

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Telangana HC upholds disqualification of two MLCs

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The Telangana High Court on Wednesday upheld the Telangana Legislative Council Chairman’s disqualification of two legislators belonging to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for defection.

A division bench headed by Chief justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan dismissed the petitions by Ramulu Nayak and Yadav Reddy to strike down their disqualification.

The court, which had reserved its orders last month, observed that Council Chairman Swamy Goud acted constitutionally to disqualify the two Members of Legislative Council (MLCs).

As the lawyer of the two legislators sought orders to the Election Commission not to hold elections for the two seats till they move the Supreme Court to challenge the High Court verdict, the bench asked the poll panel to take note of the same.

Ramulu Nayak, Yadav Reddy and Bhupati Reddy of the TRS had defected to the Congress party before December 2018 Assembly elections. After coming back to power, the TRS sought disqualification of the three MLCs and the Council Chairman had disqualified them.

The trio had filed petitions challenging the disqualification. Bhupati Reddy’s petition is still pending before the court as he also challenged the validity of Para 8 of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution that allow such disqualifications.

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