VIJAYAWADA: The YSR Congress-led Andhra Pradesh government reinstated Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as State Election Commissioner after a long legal battle. According to reports, Ramesh Kumar has decided to take charge as SEC at Vijayawada on Monday.
The government issued a GO on Thursday midnight reappointing Ramesh Kumar, subject to the outcome of the final verdict in the special leave petition that the government has filed in the Supreme Court.
Panchayat raj and rural development principal secretary Gopal Krishna Dwivedi issued the GO restoring the post to Ramesh Kumar following the notification of Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan.
The Governor said, “In accordance with the orders of High Court of Andhra Pradesh in WP No. 8163 of 2020 and batch cases Dt.29.05.2020, I, Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, hereby, restore the position of Dr. N. Ramesh Kumar, IAS (Retd.) as State Election Commissioner. This Notification is subject to the outcome of the SLP(C) No.7294 of 2020 filed by the State of Andhra Pradesh, in the Supreme Court of India.”
Dwivedi issuing order in the name of the Governor stated, “In compliance to the orders of High Court in WP No.8163 of 2020 and batch cases Dt.29.05.2020, the appended Notification shall be published in the extraordinary issue of Andhra Pradesh Gazette.”
Ramesh Kumar had been removed on April 10, and the tenure of the SEC reduced to three years. The Andhra Pradesh government also appointed retired Madras High Court judge V Kanagaraj in his place.
Kumar moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court which had directed his reinstatement on May 29, but it was not implemented. He filed a contempt petition in the HC, which directed him to file a representation with the Governor. Accordingly, Ramesh Kumar met Harichandan on July 20 and the Governor wrote to the government asking it to follow the high court order on July 21
The AP government filed a SLP in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the high court contempt order but the apex court turned it down. The apex court gave Ramesh Kumar a week to file an affidavit about the implementation of high court orders.
According to sources, as the SC did not give stay order and questioned about the non-implementation of the high court order, the government decided to issue an order in the name of the Governor as he directed the government to follow the high court orders. Sources said that Ramesh Kumar’s continuation as SEC would depend on the final verdict of the SC, which the government mentioned the same in the order.
TD leaders and leaders of other parties welcomed the reinstatement of Ramesh Kumar and said that courts had protected the Constitution and the law in AP.
Senior TD leader Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary alleged that the YSRC government went against the Constitution and had now realised its folly. He said that no one was above the law and YSRC leaders should follow the Constitution....