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HC issues notice to centre, state on religious structures demolition

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The Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union Government, State Government, Waqf Board and the Commissioner Endowments on a petition seeking re-building of the religious places, situated within the Telangana State Secretariat building, that were allegedly torn down during the demolition of the building.

Hearing a petition by High Court advocate Khaja Aijazuddin, the court on Wednesday asked the Assistant Solicitor General of India and Advocate General of Telangana to file their counter-affidavits in the matter by October 1, 2020. The matter has now been listed for hearing on October 8, 2020.

The petitioner alleged that the two mosques and one temple, situated within the Secretariat building were damaged during the demolition process without complying with mandatory norms.

In his plea, the petitioner contended that the temple too was demolished without compliance of the Endowments Act and the same was violated resulting in the demolition of the temple. He also argued that it is incumbent upon the government to rebuild the structures at the same place where they previously stood.

The High Court found fault with the state government in not following that mandatory compliance of the provisions of Waqf Act 1995 while demolishing the mosques.

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HC pulls up KCR govt over irregularities in Niloufer Hospital

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The Telangana High Court on Thursday pulled up the KCR government on why no action was initiated against the contractor over misappropriation of public funds in Niloufer Hospital.

The court directed the state government to thoroughly investigate the food scam and misappropriation of public funds in Niloufer Hospital by the contractor.

The contractor K Suresh Babu was found to be submitting inflated bills in connivance with the hospital management. According to earlier reports, the contractor supplied a high-protein diet as against normal food to patients. A panel was set up to probe into the food and diet supply and payments to the contractors.

The committee found that the scam was wide-spread in government hospitals. The panel found that the contractor submitted invoices showing supply of high-protein diet to 95 percent of children in Niloufer Hospital.

Hearing a petition, the High Court turned its ire against the government questioning why it had failed to take action five months after the committee had submitted a report on the scam.

The court questioned why the government was shielding the contractor. The contractor also supplies food in Gandhi Hospital and Government Chest Hospital. The court directed the government to investigate the matter thoroughly and submit a detailed report by August 16.

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Covid-19 patients dying due to lack of oxygen: HC pulls up CS

Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar has finally appeared before the High Court on Tuesday to give the government’s explanation on the Covid-19 situation and measures being initiated in the combat against the pandemic.

The Telangana High Court expressed displeasure over the state government for not implementing its directions in handling the COVID-19 crisis.

Hearing a batch of petitions filed by Professor P L Vishweshwar Rao and others on the number of coronavirus tests being conducted in the state, medical infrastructure and release of health bulletins, the High Court asked the chief secretary on why the government was not testing enough.

The court lambasted the state’s healthcare system and hit out at chief secretary and health Secretary asking whether both knew patients were dying due to lack of oxygen facilities at various hospitals. “Is the state government even aware of the hard fact that patients at the hospitals are dying because of lack of oxygen facilities? How does the government prepare itself to tackle this problem of oxygen facilities? At least 38 Covid-19 patients died due to lack of oxygen facilities?”It is distressing to know that patients admitted the hospitals are dying due to lack of oxygen facilities, which indicates a complete lack of critical care,” observed the court.

The court expressed anguish over the alarming rise in Corona positive cases in the state and fatalities, even in remote parts of Telangana. The court questioned the CS the measures being initiated in rural hinterlands of the state to combat the pandemic. “The positive cases are on an alarming rise. What measures have been initiated by the state government to contain and prevent the spread of the virus,” the court fumed at the Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary.

The court questioned why the government was not providing all details in the COVID-19 cases daily bulletin. “We intend to know why the government has failed to implement our orders. Why complete information is not being released in health bulletins,” the court questioned the Chief Secretary. Further, the court questioned why action should not be taken over non-compliance of its earlier directions.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over a report filed by the state government on COVID-19 tests being conducted in the state. Further, the two-bench judges comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy, questioned why the government was not testing enough compared to other states and directed the Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report on the same. The court also sought to know why detailed information with regard to coronavirus cases being put out by the government was not being made available to the public. The court also sought to know from the CS if Covid-19 tests were being conducted in Gandhi Hospital.

Further, the court also asked why the government was not releasing daily health bulletins despite orders to the government to do so. On his part, the Chief Secretary informed the High Court that the state government has conducted 3.5 lakh tests as per the ICMR guidelines. The Chief Secretary also told the court that the government had declared 1,085 containment zones in Hyderabad.

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Telangana HC stays Secretariat demolition till July 15

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The Telangana High Court on Monday directed the KCR government to halt the demolition of the old Secretariat building in Saifabad until further notice.

Hearing a petition filed by retired professor P L Visheshwar Rao, the High Court directed the Telangana government to stop the demolition works till July 15. Further, the court has asked the state government to submit a report in a sealed cover on the Cabinet decision to demolish the old Secretariat building.

On its part, the AG had submitted all the required clearances and permissions it had received from different sanctioning authorities to demolish the building.

The petitioner, through his counsel, submitted to the court that he will file a counter to the government’s arguments. The court has posted the next hearing on the issue to July 15.

On July, 10, the High Court put brakes to the demolition of the old Secretariat building. The petitioner had earlier argued that the building was being demolished in violation of Covid-19 regulations.

The petitioner also contended that the demolition has led to air pollution at a time the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are seeing an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Such demolition has led to severe breathing problems for the residents in Saifabad area.

Hearing the petitioner, the HC had directed the state government to stop all demolition works until further notice and asked the government to submit a report on what safety measures were initiated while carrying out the demolition activity.

Already, 60 percent of the old Secretariat building, spread over 25.5 acres with 10 blocks, which began in the early hours of June 7 had been razed to the ground.

Almost all the 10 blocks of the building had already been razed to ground, including the Saifabad Palace which was built in 1888 in European style by Mir Osman Ali Khan, seventh Nizam and the last ruler of erstwhile Hyderabad State. The Saifabad Palace once the seat of Nizam’s Prime Minister till Hyderabad”s accession with the Indian Union in 1948.

The G-Block, also known as Sarvahitha from where N T Rama Rao discharged his duties as chief minister was also demolished. The C-Block and the H Block which served as the offices of former CMs Marri Channa Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu respectively were razed to the ground.

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Teenmar Mallana faces HC wrath over Mandamus petition on KCR

The Telangana High Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition which sought to know the whereabouts and health condition of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Naveen alias Teenmar Mallana had filed a Mandamus writ petition arguing that the people of the state were concerned about the Chief Minister’s health and that it is the duty of the administration to tell the public where KCR is. The petitioner raised concerns over the CM’s health in the wake of 30 employees of Pragathi Bhavan testing Covid-19 positive. Thereafter, the CM had moved out of Pragathi Bhavan to his farm house in Gajwel.

The petitioner also pointed out that the Chief Minister had failed to discharge his duties ever since he had left Pragathi Bhavan.

A furious High Court warned the petitioner not to play political gimmicks by filing such pleas. Further, it had asked the petitioner to file habeas corpus petition.

Earlier, State Congress leaders Uttam Kumar Reddy and Jeevan Reddy too had raised similar doubts over the health of the Chief Minister and accused KCR of “hiding” in his farm house at a time the state was going through severe financial and health crisis due to the pandemic.

Congress leader Revanth Reddy demanded that the health ministry release a bulletin on the health condition of KCR. The Chief Minister’s ‘disappearance’ comes in the wake of a growing number of his colleagues tested positive for the infection, including Home Minister Mahamood Ali and three legislators

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Mandamus petition filed in Telangana HC over KCR’s health

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Doubts are being raised over the health condition of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar after several employees of Pragathi Bhavan, the official residence of KCR, were tested positive for coronavirus.

On Wednesday, a Mandamus petition was filed in the Telangana High Court expressing concern over the health of the Chief Minister. The petitioner, Naveen alias Mass Mallanna, sought to know through the court the health condition of the CM.

In his petition, Naveen stated that more than 30 employees of Pragathi Bhavan, including security personnel and outsourcing staff, contracted the virus over the last two weeks. Further, the petitioner cited that social media was abuzz with the news that the Chief Minister had moved to his Gajwel farm house along with his family members after Covid-19 entered his official residence ‘Pragathi Bhavan’. The petitioner also pointed out that the Chief Minister had failed to discharge his duties ever since he had left Pragathi Bhavan. Further, he contended that officials of various departments too are shying away from their duties taking advantage of the Chief Minister’s absence.

The petitioner stated that the Chief Minister worked relentlessly to contain the spread of the pandemic in Telangana. He was active in holding daily press briefings over the Covid-19 situation in the state. Further, on June 28, the Chief Minister held a high-level review meeting on the PV Centenary celebrations at Pragathi Bhavan. The CM had also announced that Telangana will observe year-long centenary celebrations of former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.

Calling K Chandrasekhar Rao as the champion of Telangana state cause, the petitioner stated that the Chief Minister’s health is a cause for worry for the people of Telangana. “The people of Telangana are worried over the health of the Chief Minister. It is the right of the people of Telangana to know the health condition of their beloved Chief Minister.

Citing all these factors, the petitioner filed a Mandamus petition. A Mandamus petition is a court order issued by a judge at a petitioner’s request compelling someone to execute a duty that they are legally obligated to complete.

Earlier, Congress leader Revanth Reddy had also raised doubts over the health of the Chief Minister and accused KCR of “hiding” in his farm house at a time the state was going through severe financial and health crisis due to the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown no signs of letting up in Telangana which has witnessed an alarming rise in the number of positive cases. The state had been reporting more than 1,500 cases each day. The pandemic has entered all the government offices and several employees were tested positive for Covid-19, forcing the government to shut the government offices.

Even legislators had contracted the virus. Telangana Home minister Mahamood Ali was tested positive for Covid-19 although he was discharged from a private hospital after he recovered. Three MLAs, including Jagan legislator Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy, Nizamabad Rural and Urban MLAs Bajireddy Govardhan and Ganesh Gupta were tested positive for coronavirus

The Mandamus petition assumes significance in this backdrop.

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Telangana HC serves notices to private hospitals overcharging Covid-19 patients

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With growing complaints of private hospitals overcharging patients suffering from Covid-19, the Telangana High Court served notices on prominent private hospitals in Hyderabad.

Hearing a petition on Tuesday, the High Court on Tuesday slapped notices on Yashoda, Care, Medicover, Sunshine Hospitals among others. The petitioner argued that the private hospitals were fleecing the patients and sought cost regulation for treatment of COVID-19 patients at private hospitals.

The Telangana government had already capped the treatment cost of corona patients in private hospitals. Costs for corona treatment in the private hospitals were capped at Rs 4,000 per day for general treatment, Rs 7,500 for treatment in Intensive Care Unit-ICU without a ventilator and Rs 9,000 for ICU treatment with a ventilator. However, the petitioner contended that several private hospitals are violating the government’s directive and overcharging the Covid-19 patients.

On May 20, the Telangana High Court had directed the state government to allow private hospitals and diagnostic laboratories to conduct Covid-19 tests. The court also found fault with the government’s order that Covid-19 tests should be conducted only at state-run hospitals and termed this as undemocratic.

The Telangana government had earlier denied permission to private labs and hospitals to deal with COVID-19 cases on the ground that they would fleece people. However, the High Court termed the KCR government’s decision to disallow private hospitals from treating corona patients as unconstitutional.

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HC pulls up ‘T’ on corona testing, medical gear

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With the swell of new coronavirus cases continuing in Telangana amid growing criticism over low testing, the High Court on Wednesday pulled up the state government directing it to submit a detailed report by July 17.

Hearing a petition on lack of medical gear for the frontline warriors and low testing, the High Court questioned the AG on how many PPE, N95 masks and other equipment were provided to the doctors and medical health workers in the combat against Covid-19. The Telangana High Court directed the State government to inform the court by July 17 as to how many PPE kits, N-95 masks and gloves were so far given to the doctors, nurses and paramedical staff involved in treating Coronavirus-affected people.

The petitioner argued that the KCR government has failed to supply the required number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and other protective gears to the doctors and other medical staff despite the court directions. The court had also taken note of the low COVID-19 testing rates in the state. The High Court questioned the state government on how many tests were conducted and how many samples were taken during a month’s period between May 23 to June 23.

The court also asked the KCR government to increase corona testing by using Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) in view of rise in Covid-19 cases in the state. Further, the court also directed the government to submit a report on the efforts initiated to trace primary and secondary contacts of the infected people. It also warned that if the state government fails to submit a detailed report by July 17, it will be forced to summon the Chief Secretary, Principal Health Secretary and Public Health Director for not following its earlier orders. The court warned that the CS, Principal Health Secretary, Public Health Director and health commissioner will have to personally appear before it on July 20 if it finds the government’s report unsatisfactory.

This is the second time that the state government had to face the ire of the High Court. Earlier in May, the High Court directed the government to inform the court as to how doctors and medical staff working in government hospitals tested positive for Covid-19 though the government has claimed that it has provided PPE kits, N-95 masks and gloves to them.

In April, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had claimed there was adequate stockpile of PPEs, N95 masks, gloves and other medical gear for the frontline warriors even as an increasing number of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, police personnel and health workers contracted the virus. However, the Telangana High Court hearing a petition in May had pulled up the KCR government over acute shortage of medical equipment. “How could the frontline warriors contract the virus if the government supplied medical equipment to combat the pandemic,” the court wondered.

Telangana has been reporting three-digit growth in corona cases. The state health department had confirmed 945 new cases of COVID-19 in Telangana in the last 24 hours, raising the state’s total number of confirmed coronavirus infections to 16,339. Of the 945 new cases, a whopping 869 positive cases were reported in GHMC limits. After the reopening of the economy, the coronavirus spread has been alarming with higher positive-test cases and increasingly strained hospitals. In the last 24 hours, seven succumbed to Covid-19 taking the total fatalities to 260.

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Telangana HC says no to SSC exams in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Ranga Reddy

Ending a month long suspense over the SSC examinations, the Telanagana High Court on Saturday directed the KCR government to conduct the examinations in all the districts barring Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Ranga Reddy districts in view of high incidence of corona cases in these three districts.

On May 18, the Telangana High Court gave a green signal for the conduct of the SSC examinations in the State from June 8, but suggested that certain measures have to be initiated by the government. However, in view of the alarming rise in corona cases in Telangana, a petition was filed in the High Court with an appeal to direct the State government to emulate the Punjab grading system.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Sai Mani Varun of Ranga Reddy district seeking the cancellation of the SSC exams in the interest of the students’ health, the High Court on Saturday directed the Telangana government to hold the examinations in all the districts of the state from June 8 except the three districts. The petitioner also contended that the Telangana government should emulate the Punjab government which had cancelled the class 10 exams and decided that students will be promoted based on their performance in pre-Board exams. The petitioner appealed to the High Court to direct the Telangana government to adopt the Punjab grading system model in view of the COVID-19 situation in Telangana.

Earlier in the day, the Telangana High Court pulled the KCR government if the lives of the students were more important than conducting SSC examinations.

Hearing a petition on conducting SSC exams, the High Court asked the AG why the Telangana government cannot explore the possibility of emulating the grading system adopted by Punjab. Further, the High Court had asked the Telangana government to conduct SSC examinations in all the districts barring Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy which have reported a surge of Covid-19 cases over the last one month or so.

To this, the AG informed the High Court that it is nearly impossible to hold the examinations at separate dates in different districts. It will be difficult to set the question papers for different districts. Advocate General B S Prasad argued that the state government had initiated all the necessary steps taken to conduct the SSC exams between June 8 and July 5. The government had procured thermal screening kits, masks and gloves and more than 4,000 medical staff were appointed. To this the High Court had asked the AG if the lives of the students were more important than the technical problems that the government is likely to face in conducting the SSC exams at different dates in different districts.

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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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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