SC to File Contempt Charges if Telangana Govt. Fails to Deposit Imposed Fine

Contempt of Court

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: June 8, 2022 at 20:36 IST

The Supreme Court threatened to file contempt charges against Telangana’s Chief Secretary if the state government did not deposit a cost of Rs. 2.5 lakh within two weeks.

The Telangana government had delayed paying its share of the costs after the Supreme Court, in a judgement dated April 22, 2020, apportioned the Cost of 5 Lakh to be shared equally by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The cost was imposed by the Supreme Court in an April 2020 judgment that quashed a statute passed by the unified Andhra Pradesh government that reserved 100 % of teaching positions for local scheduled tribes in schools situated in their areas within the state.

While Andhra Pradesh had deposited the funds with the court, Telangana has filed a review petition, saying that the state was not formed at the time the law in question was passed.

Also, the SC Bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose asked, “Tell us when you (Telangana) will deposit the amount otherwise we will issue contempt notice to your chief secretary.”

The State Government’s Advocate Akansha Mehra, informed the Court that the payment would take two weeks to complete. She added that the state had filed a review of the ruling and was awaiting its decision.

The SC Bench said, “The learned counsel appearing for the State of Telangana, has submitted that the amount shall be deposited within two weeks from today. Let the needful be done within two weeks from today, failing which the matter shall be viewed very seriously.”

The apex court, in its April 2020 judgment, ruled the law guaranteeing 100% reservation for local Tribals in teaching positions was unconstitutional because it exceeded the 50% ceiling set by the top court in the Indra Sawhney verdict of 1992. Of this, 33% of the positions were set aside for tribal women. The Court stated that enacting such a law was a “illegal exercise,” and that it was retrospectively effective.

The Top Court ordered both states to bear the costs of appeals by non-tribal candidates who had to first approach the Andhra Pradesh High Court and then the Supreme Court to challenge the law.

“The cost of appeal is quantified at ₹5 Lakh and to be shared equally by the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.”

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