High Court gives Telangana government green signal for Secretariat demolition

The High Court dismissed the PIL filed by retired Prof PL Vishweshwar Rao of the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) Party.
High Court gives Telangana government green signal for Secretariat demolition
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The Telangana High Court on Friday refused to stop the demolition of the old secretariat building in Telangana. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chouhan issued the orders to this effect after fully agreeing with Assistant Solicitor General’s argument that demolitions do not require any permissions from the centre. However, the Solicitor informed the court that the state would get all permission before it takes up construction of new buildings, as per law.

A Public Interest Litigation had been filed by Professor PL Vishweshwar Rao of the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) Party asking for the demolition to be stopped
Speaking to TNM after the PIL was dismissed, Prof PL Vishweshwar said, “The state finances are in a mess. Several government schemes like the fee reimbursement schemes, shadi mubarak scheme etc are pending. There must be someone to question the government. The government is taking arbitrary decisions. Despite several objections and issues being raised including environmental issues, the High Court looked into the merits of the case and decided to dismiss my petition. However, it is a  partial victory, we could stay the demolition for 1 year and 2 months and now the High Court has said that adequate precautions in terms of waste disposal have to be taken to ensure safety so that there are no health hazards.”     

“Today the Central Government has submitted its letter before the Division Bench of High Court on the subject matter that the state government doesn’t require prior environmental clearance to demolish the Secretariat, which shows it is against its own laws: Protection of Environment and NGT Orders and Supreme Court Law. The state government has given an undertaking to the court that without prior permissions it won't go ahead with construction, on the basis of these contentions, the High Court dismissed tje PIL”, said Chikkudu Prabhaker who was counsel for the petitioner.

The court advised the government to take all precautions owing to the Covid19 situation in the state. Earlier today, the Supreme Court had struck down a petition by Congress MLC T Jeevan Reddy challenging the TS High Court verdict on the demolition of the old Secretariat buildings and construction of new buildings. Officials in the CMO said, “The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition. The Apex Court made it clear that the construction of Secretariat is totally prerogative of the state government and it would not interfere in the policy matter. The Supreme Court’s verdict on this is like a slap on the faces of those who are opposing the construction of a new Secretariat.”

With both the state High Court and the Supreme Court responding positively today on Secretariat demolitions, all obstacles seem to have been cleared for the construction of the new Secretariat Complex.

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