Telangana government asked to respond on BC panel issue

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Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday sought to know the stand of the Telangana government on two petitions challenging the action of the Telangana government in amending the Telangana Commission for Backward Classes (Amendment) Act, 2016, to constitute the Telangana Backward Classes Commission and also in the appointment of BS Ramulu as its chairman.

A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shameem Akhter was hearing petitions by M. Raghavender, a post graduate student and K Ravinder, a local citizen. L Ravichander, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners, submitted before the court that the Telangana government has adopted the AP Backward Commission Act and brought out certain amendments to constitute the commission and appoint a chairman from either social activists or persons working for the cause of the backward classes.

He contended that the action of the state government was offending Article 14 of the Constitution and it was contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of the Indra Sawhney vs. Union of India. The aim of the apex court is to ensure that the appointment of chairman to the commission shall not be corrupted by any political influence. Noting that the earlier commissions were headed by retired judges, he argued that the person heading the commission has to be well-versed in law. “The government has failed to follow procedure for appointment of chairman, as the present chairman is not falling in the category of ‘eminent person’ as defined in the act.”

While issuing notices to the state government, the BC Commission chairman, the law secretary, the secretary to BC welfare and others, the bench granted four weeks’ time to file counter-affidavits.

Plea to scrap memo on pre-primary schools:

The Hyderabad High Court admitted a petition on Wednesday, questioning a memo issued by the Telangana government directing pre-primary schools to pay Rs 10,000 each towards application fee for granting recognition. The court rejected a plea to stay the memo. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranga-nathan and Justice Shameem Akhter was hearing a petition by Oxford Convent Educa-tional Society of Krishna Nagar and three others, seeking to declare a memo issued by the government in October last to regulate activities of pre-primary schools as “illegal”.

S. Sriram, counsel for the petitioners, told the court that the government had issued the memo by bringing pre-primary schools under the definition of ‘educational institution’, which was contrary to the provisions of the AP Education Act 1982 as was adapted by Telan-gana State. While stating that pre-primary schools are meant for children in the age group of 3 to 5 years, he urged the court to stay the memo. J. Ramachandra Rao, additional advocate general of Telangana, submitted that the pre-primary schools have been unlawfully collecting lakhs of rupees as fee.

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