Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday set aside the appointment of Justice (retd) Kanagaraju as the State Election Commissioner and ordered the restoration of his predecessor, N Ramesh Kumar, in the post.
This is a serious embarrassment to the YSRC government which removed Ramesh Kumar from the post under controversial circumstances after he stayed the elections to the state local bodies when the coronavirus pandemic was beginning in the state.
A division bench of the High Court comprising chief justice J K Maheshwari and Justice M Satyanaryana Murthy set aside various government orders (GOs) issued by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government replacing Ramesh Kumar with Justice Kanagaraju, a retired judge of the Madras High Court.
The judges observed that there was an oblique motive behind the state government promulgating an ordinance sacking Ramesh Kumar.
The High Court said Ramesh Kumar's reinstatement would be with immediate effect and continue till his term ends.
Advocate Yogesh Thandava, who first filed a public interest litigation challenging the state's decision to replace Ramesh Kumar, told Deccan Chronicle that the court also made it clear that no decision on the tenure of the state election commissioner should be taken to the disadvantage of the incumbent.