Union Law Minister D V Sadandanda Gowda today said the Centre has no role in creation of a new High Court for Telangana, rubbishing the ruling TRS' charge that the Narendra Modi dispensation is being "insenstive" on the issue and dragging the matter under political pressure.
Holding that the state government's stand on the issue is "unacceptable and intolerable," Gowda said the creation of a new High Court is in the hands of the Chief Minister and Chief Justice of the common high court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
"It's not in our hands. Creation of new High Court for Telangana. It's in the hands of Chief Minister and Chief Justice of that High Court (which is common for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and has not been bifurcated after the division of erstwhile state in June 2014)," Gowda told PTI.
TRS MP Kavitha has alleged that the Centre is insensitive in not bifurcating the High Court following division of Andhra Pradesh and that her father and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would not even hesitate to hold a protest (dharna) in Delhi.
She also alleged that the matter is being dragged by the Centre under political pressure from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Countering the TRS on the issue, Gowda said "If the Chief Minister provides all the infrastructure and other things, the High Court will take care of rest of the things. Simply putting the blame on the Centre, it's not fair on anybody... even the Chief Minister or anybody of Telangana...This (delay in bifurcating HC) is because of the central government, it's quite unacceptable and it's intolerable," Gowda said over phone when contacted.
Asked about Kavitha's charge, Gowda said, "for no reason, if he (Rao) holds a dharna, people will evaluate it."
"Central government has no role to play (in bifurcation of HC). It's not in our hands. Unnecessarily blaming central government, it's not fair on the part of the Chief Minister or any persons of Telangana State government," he said.
"Judiciary is independent. We give maximum respect to Judiciary. Their independence cannot be encroached upon by the Executive at any point of time," he added.
TRS has upped ante on the issue against the backdrop of agitation by lawyers and also judges against provisional allocation of judicial officers between AP and Telangana.
The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad has suspended eleven judges following the agitation against provisional allocation.
Over 100 judges under the banner of Telangana Judges Association on Sunday took out a procession here in protest.
Speaking on the issue, Kavitha told reporters here that "Our Chief Minister is also very very disheartened by the insensitivity of the central government. We do propose to go and express our protest in Delhi. But, we do not want things to go that level, escalate to that level. We once again sincerely appeal to honourable Prime Minister to intervene at this juncture and bifurcate the high court."
She said TRS MPs had raised the issue in Parliament and Rao himself represented to Modi "10 times" for bifurcation of the high court, but the latter has not responded so far, claiming that the Centre is under pressure from Andhra Pradesh CM.
She said Congress president Sonia Gandhi also did not speak on the issue in parliament though she talked about Andhra Pradesh's interests.
Kavitha alleged that there is a "conspiracy" hatched by the Andhra Pradesh government and some "Andhra elders at the Centre" in "Andhra Judges" giving option to work in Telangana.
Meanwhile, the BJP state unit supported the protest by Telangana judges but alleged that the Chief Minister's "protest now is purely political".
"BJP supports Telangana judges' protest and the injustice being meted out to them. CM KCR is equally responsible for not acting on time, while the provisional list was in process.
"Governor in consultation with CJH (Chief Justice of High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad) and CM appoint district judges. What was KCR doing throughout this 5-6 month process? Why did not he protest when the list was notified in May 2016 by HC? His protest now is purely political," BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said.
Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya is expected to meet Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and Law minister Sadananda Gowda along with A Narasimha Reddy, Chairman, Bar Council of AP and Telangana in Delhi today in this regard, a BJP release said.