Telangana High Court to Scrutinize Governor’s Rejection of Legislative Council Nominations


LI Network

Published on: January 3, 2024 at 11:00 IST

The Telangana High Court is set to examine a plea questioning Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan’s rejection of the state government’s nomination of Dr. Dasoju Sravan Kumar and Kurra Satyanarayana to the Legislative Council.

The candidates had been nominated by the then Chief Minister K Chandra Shaker Rao and his cabinet in July, a decision opposed by the Governor on 19-09-2023.

The rejected nominees filed a Writ Petition before the High Court, which initially faced objections regarding maintainability due to Article 361, barring criminal proceedings against the Governor.

However, the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Anil Kumar Jukanti, has directed the Registry to proceed with the matter and address the preliminary issue of maintainability.

The Constitution allows the State Government to nominate individuals with expertise in various fields to fill vacancies in the Legislative Council under the “Governor Quota.”

The Governor’s rejection cited a lack of ‘special achievements’ and ‘short tenure’ in their respective fields, recommending ‘non-politically affiliated people’ instead, alleging it would open opportunities for genuine candidates.

The plea argues that the Governor’s rejection was based on personal satisfaction rather than ambiguity in the recommendations, terming it arbitrary and unconstitutional.

It contests the Governor’s use of ‘special achievements’ as criteria, not mentioned in Article 171(5) of the Constitution, which specifically outlines eligibility based on ‘special knowledge’ or ‘practical experience.’

Furthermore, the petition challenges the Governor’s rejection without seeking clarification or conducting background checks, attributing it to extraneous considerations and a potential personal agenda. It questions the Governor’s review of the Cabinet’s decision, arguing that such interference violates the nominated candidates’ fundamental rights.

The petition supports its case by referencing Article 163, emphasizing the Governor’s obligation to act on the Council’s advice.

Additionally, it highlights the doctrine of ‘manifest-arbitrariness,‘ stating that state actions, including the nomination of Legislative Council members, should be reasonable and justified legally or constitutionally.

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