Hyderabad: Telangana High Court has directed the state government not to demolish any structure in the Secretariat buildings complex in the coming two weeks during the Dussehra vacation of the court. It expressed its intent to expeditiously decide the several public interest litigation petitions filed in the court against the demolition of existing Secretariat buildings and construction of new ones in their place.

The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy gave this direction on Tuesday through Advocate General BS Prasad, who was explicitly asked to be present for the hearing.

Senior Counsel Sarasani Satyam Reddy made a mention before the bench at the start of the day that there is every possibility of the state government taking advantage of Dussehra vacation of the court beginning from Wednesday till October 13. This, he said, would make his and others’ petitions pointless, and sought an urgent hearing. The bench agreed and said it would hear the matter in the post-lunch session. It informed the Additional Advocate General J Ramachandra Rao to inform the Advocate General to be present for the hearing in the afternoon.

The Chief Justice told the Advocate General that he must convey to the state government that it must not demolish any structure until the court reconvenes on October 14. He said this is necessary; otherwise, the petitions will become a mere academic exercise. The Advocate General noted that the decision to raze down the existing structures and build new ones in their place is a policy decision taken by the government. The bench announced that it would conduct expeditious hearings on this issue after vacation.

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