On May 29, the High Court had struck down an Ordinance by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, curtailing the tenure of the SEC from five to three years.

The steps of the Supreme CourtFile photo: PTI
news Controversy Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 09:44

The Andhra Pradesh government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the order of the High Court striking down an ordinance curtailing the tenure of the State Election Commissioner (SEC) from five to three years.

The appeal filed by state government against the May 29 order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is scheduled to be taken up for hearing on Wednesday by a bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy.

On May 29, the High Court had struck down the Ordinance promulgated on April 10 by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government, curtailing the tenure of the SEC from five to three years.

The High Court had also quashed a Government Order appointing retired judge V Kanagaraj as the new SEC and restored retired bureaucrat Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as chief of the State poll panel.

Justice V Kanagaraj, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, had assumed charge as the SEC on April 11, replacing Ramesh Kumar.

The High Court had delivered the judgment on a batch of writ petitions, including the one by Ramesh Kumar, challenging the Ordinance and the appointment of a new SEC.

The YSRCP government had on April 10 abruptly removed Ramesh Kumar from the post by promulgating the ordinance, amending the AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, curtailing the tenure of the SEC to three years from five.

Ramesh Kumar, a 1983-batch IAS officer was appointed by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government as the SEC on January 30, 2016.

The AP government locked horns with the SEC after he postponed local body elections in the state on March 7 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The YSRCP then accused Ramesh of having acted on TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu's orders.

The state government subsequently filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the move but the apex court only endorsed the deferment of polls.

Read: Ex-Andhra SEC Ramesh Kumar asks state to reinstate him, mulls contempt plea in HC

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