Former State Election Commissioner (SEC) Ramesh Kumar on Sunday asked the Andhra Pradesh government to reinstate him, arguing that a constitutional office can't be vacant. He also said that the manner in which the ruling YSRCP was acting, showed an intention not to implement the directions of the High Court by citing 'untenable' reasons, which was 'regrettable'.
Stating that there was no ambiguity in the court's judgement issued earlier this week, Ramesh Kumar said that he should be immediately re-appointed as the SEC until his five-year term ended on March 31, 2021.
He said that if the state government fails to do so, he may also file a contempt petition with the High Court at Amaravati.
Ramesh Kumar issued a statement on Sunday after withdrawing a circular that he issued on Saturday, stating that he had taken charge as the Andhra Pradesh SEC. The move drew flak from Advocate General S Subramanya Sriram, who told a press conference on Saturday night that Ramesh Kumar's action of issuing a circular was illegal as the High Court had asked the Andhra Pradesh government to take action.
The YSRCP government had issued an ordinance on April 10 to sack Ramesh Kumar as the SEC following a row over the postponement of local body elections.
Nearly one and a half months after he was sacked by the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government, the retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer had returned as the SEC following the High Court order striking down the ordinance issued to sack him.
The court also quashed the government order appointing retired high court judge V Kanagaraj as the new SEC.
Meanwhile, the Advocate General said a petition was filed in the High Court seeking permission to challenge its order in the Supreme Court. He said a petition was also moved seeking stay on the High Court order.