Ramesh Kumar 'restores’ himself as Andhra poll chief, withdraws circular after row

The Advocate General pointed out that a circular issued by Ramesh was 'illegal' as the High Court had asked the state government to take action.
Ramesh Kumar
Ramesh Kumar
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A day after his decision to issue a circular that he had taken charge as the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) triggered a major row, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Saturday withdrew the same after the Advocate General objected to the move.

Advocate General S. Subramanya Sriram told a press conference on Saturday night that Ramesh Kumar's action of issuing a circular that he has taken charge as SEC is 'illegal' as the High Court in its orders on Friday had not asked Ramesh Kumar to take charge but asked the state government to reinstate him.

Immediately after this, Ramesh Kumar withdrew the circular.

"We have two months time to implement the High Court order. There is a judgment of the court...we are looking into it. We are entitled to appeal if we think we are aggrieved by it. We will go on appeal. We will await further adjudication by the Supreme Court on further actions," the Advocate General said.

Soon after the verdict, the government had filed an application in the High Court seeking a stay "till we approach the Supreme Court against the judgment, as it would lead to new consequences", the Advocate General added.

Finding fault with a memo circulated by Ramesh Kumar "restoring himself" as the SEC immediately after the HC verdict, Subramaniam pointed out that the court had only asked the state government to take required action in this regard.

"We have two months' time for that," he said.

Ramesh Kumar on Friday night issued a circular to all district collectors, chief executive officer of Zilla Praja Parishads, district panchayat officer, municipal commissioners, stating that pursuant to the High Court orders he stood restored to the office of SEC.

Nearly one and a half month after he was sacked by 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.

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. Within hours after sacking Ramesh Kumar, the government had appointed retired high court judge Justice V Kanagaraj as the new SEC amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

With IANS and PTI inputs

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