Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2020

Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar resumes office as Andhra SEC after HC order

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh)): Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar resumed the office of Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner on Friday soon after the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered the state government to reinstate him.

After the court’s order, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar said that he has resumed the charge as SEC and he will discharge his duties fairly and impartially.

A division bench of the High Court headed by its Chief Justice J K Maheshwari set aside various government orders (GOs) issued by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, which replaced Kumar with Justice V Kanagaraj, a former judge of the Madras High Court.

“The High Court has set aside the order given by the Andhra Pradesh state government. In fact, that is the Governor, who issued the ordinance, making changes to the Panchayat Raj Act. Unfortunately, the Governor derives power and the 243 k of the Constitution by the ordinance and GOs speak about Section 200 of Panchayat Raj Act. It is so unfortunate how can a father of an act derives power from the same act which he has enacted,” J Ravishankar, an advocate of petitioner Kumar, told ANI.

“The minimum basic of constitutional provisionals were not looked into. An amendment to the act in the form of ordinance goes to the root of the matter and the changes will be made to act. How can an ordinance speak about removal of a person who is holding the post on date day — that’s another biggest flaws. Also, Kumar’s tenure was reduced by 8 to 9 months, which was unconstitutional,” he said.

The bench cancelled the ordinance brought by the government changing the rules of appointment of State Election Commissioner, stating that the state government has no power to do so.

The bench observed that Kumar’s reinstatement would be with immediate effect and continue to serve the post until his term ends.

After the court’s order, Kumar said that he has resumed the charge and he will discharge his duties fairly and impartially.

“I have resumed charge. I will discharge my duties fairly and impartially as I did in the past and as mandated. In consultation with the principal stakeholders and all the political parties, I wish to resume the electoral process to the local bodies at the earliest on the return of normalcy!” he said.

He said that individuals are not permanent but constitutional institutions and the values they represent alone are permanent in the end.

“Those who have taken an oath of office to protect the constitution, have a greater responsibility to continue to protect and safeguard these institutions and their integrity,” he said.

Earlier, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had condemned the removal of Kumar from the SEC post despite the fact that he saved the people of Andhra Pradesh from coronavirus epidemic threat by the timely postponement of the local body elections.

“Ramesh Kumar was undemocratically and unceremoniously eased out of the SEC position which was reprehensible and against the letter and spirit of the Constitution,” Naidu had said.

ANI

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