Ramesh Kumar meets Andhra Guv, seeks reinstatement as SEC

Amaravati, July 20 (IANS) Acting on the orders of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Monday called on Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, requesting for his appointment as the State Election Commissioner (SEC).

The retired IAS officer called on the governor at Raj Bhavan and brought to his notice the orders passed by the High Court reinstating him as the SEC.

Ramesh Kumar later told the media that he represented his case for facilitating assumption of charge forthwith as the SEC. “The Governor gave a patient and sympathetic hearing and assured me that he would look into the issue,” he said.

He said he was optimistic of an early and favourable outcome as well as resolution of the issue through the intervention of the governor.

The High Court on Friday had asked Ramesh Kumar to call on the governor, saying the latter has the powers to appoint the SEC as per its order.

The bench comprising Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari and M. Satyanarayana Murthy gave the direction on a contempt of court petition filed by Ramesh Kumar who was reinstated as SEC by the High Court on May 29.

He alleged that the state government was resorting to contempt of court by not allowing him to resume office as the SEC.

He brought to the notice of the court that former High Court judge Justice V. Kanagaraj, who was appointed in his place in April, was still being treated as the SEC by the government.

The petitioner also conveyed to the court that the government moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court but it refused to grant stay.

The bench asked the government to file its counter and adjourned the hearing to July 24.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government had issued an ordinance on April 10 to sack Ramesh Kumar as the SEC following a row over the postponement of local body elections.

Within hours after sacking him, the government appointed Kanagaraj as the new SEC.

On the petitions of Ramesh Kumar and several others, the High Court on May 29 struck down the ordinance, declaring it unconstitutional. It also set aside the orders appointing Kanagaraj as the new SEC.

Ramesh Kumar had issued a circular to all District Collectors, CEOs of zilla praja parishads, District Panchayat Officers, and Municipal Commissioners the same day, stating that pursuant to the High Court orders he stood restored to the office of SEC.

However, the next day he withdrew the circular after Advocate General S. Subramanya Sriram stated that Ramesh Kumar's action of issuing a circular is illegal as the High Court had not asked him to take charge.



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