The curious case of Revanth Vs KTR is taking its shape with time. The High Court for the State of Telangana, after hearing day-long arguments on Friday, reserved for judgment in the case filed by Minister K.T. Rama Rao seeking to quash the case filed before the National Green Tribunal, Chennai Bench, by Congress leader and MP, A Revanth Reddy relating to the farmhouse constructed and being used by KTR at Janwad/Mirzaguda village of Shankarpalli Mandal in Rangareddy District in violation of G.O.Ms. 111 issued by Municipal Administration Department.
The Division Bench comprising of Justice A Rajashekar Reddy and Justice P Naveen Rao heard the arguments of senior counsel S. Niranjan Reddy on behalf of KTR, Raghuram on behalf of one Pradeep Reddy, owner of the land, and S S Prasad on behalf of Revanth Reddy. The High Court had earlier in its Interim Order dated 10-06-2020 stayed the Order passed by the NGT constituting a Committee of Experts to visit the site of Farm House and submit a report on violations if any and consequent actions to be taken.
S Niranjan Reddy in his arguments submitted that the Application filed by Revanth Reddy before NGT is with the malicious intention of somehow dragging the minister KTR into the proceedings despite knowing fully well that he was not the owner of the land on which the construction is made and he had only taken it on lease. He also contended that the Application before the NGT is barred by limitation as it has been approached after years of completion of construction while the limit was of only eight months. He sought quashing of the proceedings before NGT to the extent of his petitioner KTR.
Raghuram in his submissions stated that his petitioner Pradeep Reddy, who is the actual landowner, has not been made a party to the proceedings before NGT, while he was a necessary party and therefore the question of his client approaching the Supreme Court as an alternative remedy does not arise.
S S Prasad, making arguments on behalf of Revanth Reddy refuted the charges of malicious intent on Revanth Reddy’s part in initiating proceedings before NGT. He said that the fact of illegal construction in the catchment area of Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar lakes came to be known to his client in February 2020 and when he went to visit the site, he was detained by the police and sent to jail for 14 days. The fact of he belongs to the opposition party is not germane to the case and that the real intention of his client is to protect the lakes, especially when huge floods are resulting due to the encroachment of lakes. He contended that the NGT Act clearly provides for the alternative remedy of approaching the Supreme Court and that these Writ Petitions are not maintainable.
Additional Advocate General J Ramchander Rao submitted to the court that the High Court has jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to intervene and subject to judicial review the proceedings before the NGT, which was nothing but a creation of a statute. The Bench is reserved for judgment in both the Writ Petitions.