For the fourth time in less than a month, the Supreme Court on Friday yet again refused to give a stay on the Andhra Pradesh High Court order over reinstatement of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as State Election Commissioner.
In a big victory to Ramesh Kumar and a huge embarassment to the Jagan government, the apex court passed the orders to reinstate Ramesh Kumar as SEC by next July 31 as per the High Court orders.
Hearing a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh government seeking a stay on the contempt filed by Ramesh Kumar in the High Court, the Supreme Court on Friday had questioned the government why it had failed to reinstate Ramesh Kumar as State Election Commissioner depiste the directions from Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan as per High Court orders.
Senior advocate Harish Salve presented the arguments in the Supreme Court on behalf of Nimmagadda Ramesh. Harish Salve brought to the notice of the apex court that his client Ramesh Kumar had filed a contempt petition in the High Court stating that the Andhra Pradesh government was not implementing the court’s order in restoring him as the SEC.
Harish Salve also informed the apex court that the Andhra Pradesh High Court had asked Ramesh Kumar to meet the Governor seeking his restoration as the SEC. Accordingly, Ramesh Kumar had met the Governor and submitted a memorandum requesting the latter to reinstate him as the SEC. Despite this, the Andhra Pradesh government had failed to implement the orders of the Governor as per the High Court orders, Harish Salve argued.
Hearing Harish Salve’s arguements, the Supreme Court had questioned the government counsel as to why such a situation arise in the first place.
“Why did the situation arise for the Governor to direct the government to reinstate Ramesh Kumar as SEC. We are in complete knowledge of the case. It is a matter of serious concern that the government has not reinstated Ramesh Kumar despite the Governor writing a letter,” the Supreme Court observed. With the Supreme Court’s latest observations, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar’s reinstatement as SEC is a shut and close case.
This is the fourth time that the apex court had pulled up the Andhra Pradesh governmment. Earlier, hearing a Special Leave Petition filed by the AP government seeking the Supreme Court to give a stay on HC verdict to reinstate Ramesh Kumar, a three-judge SC bench, comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, had warned the government not to play with the constitutional functionaries.
Further, Harish Salve also informed the Supreme Court that several YSRCP leaders were lowering the dignity of the judiciary by making direct attack on the judges and the courts. Hearing this, the apex court had sought news clippings and videos of all those YSRCP leaders who made scandalous remarks against the judges and the judiciary.
It may be recalled that YSRCP Lok Sabha member Nandigam Suresh, party chief whip Srikanth Reddy and party leader and former MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan made scandalous comments against the Andhra Pradesh High Court judges over the reinstatement of Ramesh Kumar as SEC. The Andhra Pradesh government chief whip attributed motives to the court stating that former chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu had been managing the High Court.
“Who is paying crores of rupees by the hour to the judges? Is it not Chandrababu Naidu. Is it not true that the TDP had been funding Ramesh Kumar with crores of rupees to pay off judges,” he asked.
This is not the first that the YSRCP leaders made comments that tend to undermine people’s confidence in administration of justice, bring or tend to bring the court and judges into disrepute and disrespect.
On May 20, the High Court had initiated contempt proceedings against 49 individuals, including YSR Congress Lok Sabha member Nandigam Suresh and party leader Amanchi Krishna Mohan for attributing motives to judges and lowering the dignity of the High Court. Both the YSRCP leaders made serious allegations against sitting judges of the High Court which amounts to interference with administration of justice.