Telangana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the state government and others, including ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi party supremo K. Chandrasekhar Rao, in response to a PIL petition over allotment of government land to TRS party in the state capital, Hyderabad.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili instructed the Chief Secretary, Revenue Principal Secretary, Chief Commissioner of Land Administration and Hyderabad Collector along with Mr. Rao and his party general secretary M. Srinivas Reddy to respond to the notices within four weeks.
A retired employee, K. Maheshwar Raj, working as civil contractor, who is also State president of All India Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organizations, filed the petition.
Mr. Raj challenged validity of GO MS no. 167 issued on August 16, 2018 and GO Ms. no. 47 dated May 11, 2022. The first GO proposed allotment of government land (to the extent of not more than one acre) in all district headquarters to all recognized political parties in the State. The second one pertains to allotment of 4,395 square yards of land at NBT Nagar near road no. 12 of upscale Banjara Hills coming under Shaikpet mandal of Hyderabad district.
The petitioner’s counsel Chikkudu Prabhakar contended that the Supreme Court had observed in several judgments that the process of land distribution must be guided by the constitutional principles, including the doctrine of equality and larger public good. But the respondent authorities acted quite differently instead of complying with the apex court directions, he argued.
The constitutional bench of the apex court in a catena of judgments, Mr. Prabhakar said, remarked that – land is national resource. ‘ When natural resources were being sold by the government, transparent procedures like auctioning should be followed to get better value of amount to the State government.
But the fifth respondent, who was not only the TRS party president but also the chief minister of the state, influenced the authorities to get the land allotted to TRS., The petitioner’s counsel said. He sought a direction to declare allotment of land to TRS party in Hyderabad as illegal and set aside the GO concerned.
Mr. Prabhakar also requested the court to suspend operation of GO 167 allotting land to all recognized political parties. He wanted the court to instruct the TRS not to raise any structures in the land allotted in Hyderabad till adjudication of the petition.