HC dismisses PIL pleas over ECI’s order on Dalit Bandhu

Telangana High Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of PIL petitions seeking to set aside the Election Commission of India’s direction deferring implementation of Dalit Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad till completion of the bypoll.

Huzurabad bypoll is being held on Saturday. Huzurabad sitting MLA Eatala Rajender, who won the seat in December 2018, resigned as MLA more than four months ago after he was dropped from the Council of Ministers by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. By-election in Huzurabad became inevitable with Mr. Rajender’s resignation. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced Dalit Bandhu scheme (offering ₹10 lakh financial assistance to each dalit family in the State) and formally launched it in Huzurabad Assembly constituency on August 16.

The ECI issued bypoll notification on October 1. While TRS party claimed that Dalit Bandhu was purely for the uplift of dalits, other political parties dubbed it as political gimmick to woo dalit voters. When the bypoll campaign was in full swing, the ECI passed a direction deferring implementation of Dalit Bandhu scheme in Huzurabad till completion of the bypoll.

This triggered a blame game by different political parties over who was responsible for the ECI’s order. Meanwhile, three PIL petitions were filed in the HC over the ECI instruction. While two petitioners wanted the court to set aside the deferment of Dalit Bandhu scheme implementation, another petitioner sought a specific direction to stop the scheme’s implementation contending that it would influence the voters.

After hearing contentions of the counsels of the three petitioners, a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy reserved orders in the matter. The bench pronounced the order on Thursday dismissing all the three petitions.

The bench also dismissed two writ petitions filed by two police officers Vasam Surender (Deputy Superintendent of Police) and K. Narsimha Reddy (Inspector) seeking an order stay their examination as witnesses by the Inquiry Commission constituted over Disha encounter by the Supreme Court.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 12:12:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hc-dismisses-pil-pleas-over-ecis-order-on-dalit-bandhu/article37223126.ece

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