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Withdraw orders on special powers to Governor: Telangana govt to Centre

PTI 10 Aug 2014, 7:08:22 AM IST
Hyderabad: Telangana government yesterday appeared on a collision course with Centre after it refused to “honour or implement” Union Home ministry's directives on special powers related to law and order in Hyderabad vested in Governor, with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao tonight seeking immediate withdrawal of the orders.  

The chief minister, who in a spontaneous reaction, to MHA's letter last night dubbed it as a fascist act, dashed off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the latter to rescind the said order.

“I am sure that this communication has been sent by the Home Ministry without your approval and therefore appeal to you to look into the matter and order that these instructions be rescinded forthwith in accordance with the democratic traditions and conventions of our federal structure,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.

Rao said that he was writing the letter with “a grave concern on a most important Constitutional issue of our federal structure.”

The chief minister said that he was greatly disturbed after receiving the letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs on August 8, prescribing certain norms to be followed by the state government regarding the powers and functioning of government under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.  

The chief minister explained that these norms go to the extent of asking the state government to follow certain procedures even in the posting of station house officers and ACP and DCPs of Hyderabad.

“You may appreciate that as per the Constitution, the Governor has to function on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the state.

“In the same way Section 8(3) of Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act clearly mentions that in the discharge of his functions, the Governor shall, after consulting the Council of Ministers of the State of Telangana, exercise his individual judgement as to the action to be taken,” Rao said.

He said that therefore it was clear that neither the State Reorganisation Act nor the Constitution provides for any administrative mechanism other than the Council of Ministers of Telangana, to advise the Governor.

The chief minister said that in these matters the Governor has to obtain information or advice only from the council of ministers and none else.

“Any attempt to micro-manage the administration through Governor bypassing the council of ministers of Telangana was direct affront to the federal polity of the country,” he said.  

Section 8 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, vests the Governor of Telangana with special responsibility to protect the residents of the common capital of Hyderabad.  

The powers extend to maintenance of law and order, internal security, security of vital installations and management and allocation of governmental buildings.  

In a letter to Telangana Chief Secretary Rajeev Sharma yesterday, S Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, had issued certain directives in pursuance of Section 8 of the Act, which the state government today refused to honour or implement “in any circumstances”.  

“Entrusting the Governor with special powers is against the spirit of the Constitution of India. The Telangana government is functioning in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Governor too should act as per the decisions of the state Council of Ministers,” the Chief Secretary said in his reply to the MHA letter yesterday.  

“Our government shall not honour or implement the Centre's directives under any circumstances,” he asserted and cautioned the Centre against infringing on the rights of the state government, sources in the General Administration Department said.

The “norms” that the MHA letter wanted the state to follow included power to the Governor to call for any record or information or decision of the Council of Ministers or any authority relating to the responsibilities envisaged under Section 8 of the Act.