In a rude setback to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLCs who defected to the Congress before the recent assembly elections, the state high court on Wednesday dismissed their petitions challenging their disqualification.
The three MLCs – Ramulu Naik, Bhupati Reddy and Yadava Reddy were disqualified by legislative council chairman Swamy Goud for defecting to the Congress before December 7 assembly elections.
The MLCs filed a petition in the high court, challenging their disqualification. Though the court had not given any stay on their disqualification, it asked the Election Commission not to hold elections to their three seats till the case is disposed.
On Wednesday, the high court struck down the petition of the MLCs. It, however, allowed them to move the Supreme Court for seeking remedy.
The MLCs appealed to the high court to direct the EC not to conduct the elections till the Supreme Court gives its verdict.
The high court asked the EC to examine the possibility of putting the elections to the three MLC seats on hold.
Ramulu Naik argued that he was neither a TRS member nor had he joined the Congress, but was nominated to the council by Governor under social service quota.
So, the question of his disqualification under anti-defection law does not arise. But the TRS had produced evidences to show that he had indeed joined the Congress party.
Similarly, Yadava Reddy and Bhupati Reddy also argued that they got elected as MLCs under local bodies’ quota on non-party basis.
Since they were not elected as MLCs on the B-form given by the TRS, they cannot be treated as TRS MLCs and hence, they, too, do not come under anti-defection law.
But, the court felt that there was no merit in their argument as they were shown as TRS MLCs in the council and hence, their defection was against the anti-defection law.