Andhra Pradesh

Writ plea filed in HC against Ramesh Kumar

Court urged to restrain him from functioning as SEC

S. Srikanth Reddy, a native of Uppalapadu village in Guntur district, has filed a writ petition in the High Court praying that N. Ramesh Kumar be restrained from functioning as State Election Commissioner (SEC).

He has also appealed to the court to quash G.O. Ms. No.11 dated January 30, 2016 through which Mr. Ramesh Kumar was appointed as SEC, on the ground that it was in violation of Article 243 K (1) of the Constitution.

The writ plea is likely to come up for hearing after the summer vacation ending on June 12.

The petitioner argued that the power to appoint SEC is given to the Governor without specifying that such appointment would be subject to the provisions of any law made by either Parliament or the State Legislature.

Therefore, the power to appoint SEC is with the Governor, who can exercise that power at his or her discretion and not under any law made thereof.

Besides, Mr. Srikanth Reddy asserted that the State Legislature has the powers under Article 243 K (2) to make any law regarding the conditions of service and tenure of SEC.

HC judgment

He further stated that, in its judgment dated May 29, the High Court held that the power to appoint SEC is discretionary and it is vested with Governor and the SEC appointed under Section 200 of AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 cannot function for superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and conducting elections to the local bodies.

The provisions specifying the eligibility for holding the post of SEC on the government's recommendations is not in conformity with the Constitutional spirit, Mr. Srikanth Reddy submitted to the court.

It may be noted Mr. Ramesh Kumar has declared that he resumed charge as SEC after the High Court struck down the AP Panchayat Raj (Second Amendment) Ordinance (No.5 of 2020) which cut short his tenure from five to three years.

The government then challenged the High Court judgment in the Supreme Court while insisting that Mr. Ramesh Kumar's 'self - restoration' as the SEC was illegal.

Advocate-General S. Sriram had commented that Mr. Ramesh Kumar's claim to have been automatically restored to the post of SEC was beyond the conceivable mandate of law.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:46:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/writ-plea-filed-in-hc-against-ramesh-kumar/article31782805.ece

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