Telangana High Court orders State govt not to re-deploy VROs in other departments

Telangana High Court
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Telangana High Court

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TheTelangana High Court division bench, comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, on Monday passed a status quo order in respect of VROs who are under re-deployment in other than Revenue departments.

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court division bench, comprising Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, on Monday passed a status quo order in respect of VROs who are under re-deployment in other than Revenue departments. In the interim order, the bench directed the State government that those VROs who are not deployed in other departments, may be continued in the parent Revenue department and paid their emoluments until further orders.

The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by the Telangana Village Officers' Association, represented by its president Golkonda Satish seeking to direct the government that the Telangana Abolition of the Post of Village Revenue Officers Act, 10 of 2020, including GO 121 (Finance department HRMIII department) dated July 23, 2022, was illegal and unconstitutional.

Further, contrary to the Telangana Public Employees Amendment of Local Cadres and Regulation of Direct Recruitment Order 2018 and set aside the same and issue consequential directions to the government to fill the existing posts of senior assistants earmarked for VROs with effect from the availability of the posts with all consequential benefits, including seniority.

Counsel for the petitioner PV Krishniah informed the court that the government, through an executive order, GO 121, and the GO signed by the Chief Secretary re-deploying VROs in other departments, in sheer and blatant violation of various sections of Act, 2020, as the Finance department has no role in the issue of re-deployment of VROs. The Chief Secretary has no power to issue such a GO, the counsel said. Section 4(1) of the Act, 2020, clearly mandates the government to make suitable rules for transfer and absorption of VROs in other departments whereas no such rules have been framed.

Advocate-General Banda Shivananda Prasad apprised the court that the services of the VROs in the State are no more required as the entire revenue records of the State have been digitized and embedded in the "Dharani Portal". Of 5,138 VROs across the State, only 56 have yet not reported. The aspect of re-deployment is the policy decision of the government to re-deploy them in other departments.

After hearing Krishnaiah, the bench issued notices to the government and its respondent authorities to file counters. The court directed the registry to list the case on August 29 for further hearing.

Advocate Malla Reddy murder: HC issues notices to govt. Bar Council, Centre to respond

The High Court division bench headed by CJ Bhuyan and Justice Bhaskar Reddy issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary Home, DGP TS, SP Mulugu and SHO Mulugu and directed them to file their replies by September 8, 2022. The CJ bench impleaded the Bar Council of India, Bar Council of Telangana and the Union of India as parties to this Suo Motu Taken up PIL as the aspect of passage of Advocates Protection Bill is involved for the safety and security and the overall benefit of the advocate fraternity.

The bench described the murder as unfortunate. A-G Prasad informed the court that the police are investigating the murder of senior advocate Malla Reddy. A case under crime mNo. 170 of 2022 has been registered. The police have acted swiftly and already identified 15 persons, and nabbed 10 accused, including four conspirators

After the AG threw light on the conduct and antecedents of the advocate, CJ Bhuyan observed there must be a fine line between the advocate and the litigant an advocate should not become a part of the litigation lawyers are definitely respected in society and an advocate should maintain his decorum.

The bench was dealing with the PIL converting the letter of Verose Raghunath, president, Telangana High Court Advocates' Association into a PIL, where the petitioner sought a direction to the State government to furnish relevant records pertaining to murder of Malla Reddy on August 1 by some unknown miscreants in Mulugu district. The petitioner also sought a direction from the CJ court to recommend the Advocates Protection Bill to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

CJ Bhuyan appointed senior advocate Ravichandra as Amicus Curiae to assist the court in the case. The hearing was adjourned to September 8.

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