AMARAVATI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took up for hearing a petition filed by Andhra Pradesh government challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court decision striking down two government orders relating to the appointment of the state election commissioner. The state government informed the apex court that the high court had annulled the appointment of a new state election commissioner, citing invalidity of governor’s orders for the appointment based on the recommendations of the state cabinet. The AP government contended as per this very ruling of the high court, even the appointment of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as SEC earlier should also be treated as null and void.
The Supreme Court, while refusing to grant a stay on the high court verdict in this regard, also concurred with the petitioner’s contention. The petitioner questioned as to how Ramesh Kumar could be restored to the said position under the same provision that the Andhra Pradesh high court has found fault with. Concurring with this view, the Supreme Court issued notices to all the respondents including Ramesh Kumar to respond within two weeks. The apex court also made it clear that it would hear the petitioner’s arguments on all the matters raised in the petition.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has recently ruled that the SEC should not be appointed based on the recommendations of either the Chief Minister or the State Cabinet and that it should be completely decided by the Governor of the state.
Based on this, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi has argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the state government that the appointment of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar is not valid as he was appointed as SEC in 2016 on the recommendations made by the then chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Senior advocate Harish Salve presented the arguments on behalf of Nimmagadda Ramesh via video conference from London.
The Andhra Pradesh government on June 1 filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the state high court’s orders reinstating Ramesh Kumar as the Election Commissioner.