The High Court on Tuesday postponed the hearing on the affidavit filed by Nimmagadda. Ramesh Kumar, who was removed by the AP government through the promulgation of an ordinance
After hearing the arguments that lasted for more than five hours, the High Court has postponed the hearing to tomorrow. State Election Commission Secretary S Ramsundar Reddy informed the court that the petitioner Ramesh Kumar took the decision to defer the civic polls without consulting the State government officials concerned. Through the affidavit, Ramesh Kumar reportedly argued that the SEC had the discretionary powers to defer the elections to civic bodies and was under no obligation to reveal the factors that led to the postponement of the elections.
More than 13 petitions were filed challenging the government’s decision to remove Ramesh Kumar through an ordinance which had reduced the tenure of the SEC to three years from five years. Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan approved the the ordinance, amending the AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, thereby curtailing the SEC’s tenure from five to three years and also appointing a retired High Court judge Kanagaraj to the post.
The ordinance was challenged by former ministers Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, Kamineni Srinivas, CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna and an advocate Yogesh, also filed petitions challenging the ordinance and the removal of the SEC. Subsequently, the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the state government to file an affidavit on the removal of N Ramesh Kumar as the SEC.
Leader of Opposition and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu condemned the ousting of Ramesh Kumar as SEC, stating that Ramesh Kumar had saved people’s lives by postponing the local body polls in view of the pandemic.
In vendetta politics, the state government removed Ramesh Kumar after he deferred elections to civic bodies citing the outbreak of corona virus. The YSRCP leaders later resorted to personal attacks against Ramesh Kumar, even cast aspersions on the SEC chair. Jagan alleged that Ramesh Kumar had put off the elections at the behest of Chandrabbabu Naidu as both belong to the same social community. Ramesh Kumar shot off a letter to Union Home Secretary seeking police protection fearing a threat to his life and that of his family members. Even this was politicized by the YSRCP leadership and further targeted Ramesh Kumar by ordering a CID probe into the authenticity of the letter. The Opposition leaders called this witch-hunting and complained to the governor that the YSRCP leaders are resorting to personal attacks.