Andhra Pradesh state election commission chief Nimmagadda Rameshkumar alleged that the state government is no mood to implement the High Court that quashed the Ordinance issued to abridge the tenure of state election commissioner.
Issuing a statement, in response to the press conference held by Subramanyam Sriram, advocate general, yesterday, Ramesh Kumar, who started attending office following the HC order, Ramesh Kumar clarified his status as chief of the election commission has automatically been restored
Here is the statement issued by Ramesh Kumar:
The Andhra Pradesh High Court vide Judgment dated 29.05.2020 in W.P.No.8163 of 2020 at Para No. 307 had set aside the Ordinance No. 5 of 2020 dated 10.04.2020 as also the consequential GO’s which notified the appointment of Justice V.Kanagaraju (Retd) as SEC.
The Hon’ble High Court vide para 308 of the Judgment directed the State of Andhra Pradesh to restore my position as SEC and allow me to continue in office until completion of my tenure i.e. till31.03.2021. The Hon’ble High Court rightly recognized my vested right to continue as SEC for the remainder of the tenure.
By reason of the above Judgment, Justice Kanagaraju ceases to hold office as SEC. His appointment is therefore deemed to be void ab initio and the office of SEC cannot remain unoccupied and the same cannot remain vacant.
Since a Constitutional post cannot remain vacant and also that the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh contended and stated that I was not removed, but by virtue of the Ordinance, I cease to continue as State Election Commissioner, as such, I was given to understand that my position becomes status quo ante and that I stand restored to the office of the State Election Commissioner.
Accordingly, I issued a communication of assumption of charge, and the Secretary of A.P.State Election Commission issued the proceedings on 29.05.2020 notifying my restoration.
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However, the Govt.of A.P. held a press conference on 30.05.2020. The tone and tenor of the Govt’s press conference reveal the intention of the Govt. not to implement the directions of the High Court by citing reasons which are wholly untenable.
It is highly regrettable that the Govt.of A.P.continues to show its utter disregard to the independence and integrity of the institution of State Election Commission.
The stand taken by the State Govt. is in clear violation of the directions and Judgment of the Hon’ble High Court of A.P.