Alarmed by the reservations expressed by the Union Home Ministry and Law Ministry, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has decided not to hold a day-long dharna at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, seeking the bifurcation of the combined High Court of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
When informed about KCR’s dharna scheduled for the first week of July, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda conveyed their displeasure to the Telangana government on Wednesday, sources close to the CM told this newspaper. KCR will now visit a dharna to be held by his party MPs and MLAs in the national capital and support their demand to split the HC as well as sending back lower judiciary officers belonging to Andhra Pradesh to their native state from Telangana district courts. Judges of the lower courts in Hyderabad and Telangana are on strike since 13 June.
The Hyderabad High Court, which has jurisdiction over both the states, has so far suspended as many as 11 judges and threatened action against more if the strike was not called off. Around 8,000 employees of Telangana courts have joined the strike, paralysing the lower district court and other civil courts in the state. To make matters worse, both the Centre and the Hyderabad HC have said that an immediate solution was not in their hands.
The row began when an order was passed by the HC on 3 May, allocating 205 judicial officers to both the states. Of them, 95 officers were allocated to Telangana and 110 to AP. However, as 58 of the 95 officers allocated to Telangana were actually natives of Andhra, Telangana judges and lawyers raised a protest. For the last two years, Telangana lawyers have been alleging that the HC has some bias towards Andhra.
On 29 June, KCR wrote a letter to Rajnath Singh stating that the HC had filled judges from AP in Telangana courts even when there are around 24 vacancies in Andhra courts. “This is a deliberate plot to take control over the courts in Telangana and it would further affect the prospects of Telangana district judges being promoted to the HC at a later date,” the CM told the Home Minister.
He said in a meeting of TRS MPs and MLAs on Tuesday: “Unless the HC was divided, there won’t be real justice to Telangana as the Andhra leadership is trying to rule Telangana through the courts.” As KCR wants to maintain cordial relations with the BJP ruled Centre, he dropped the idea of doing a dharna in New Delhi.