AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday has quashed the orders issued by the State Election Commission (SEC) allowing re-nominations in the municipal elections, saying there was no possibility of making new nominations. The High Court also quashed orders seeking to seize the ward volunteers' phones.
It may be recollected that Elections Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar had allowed re-nominations in six constituencies in Tirupati Corporation, three in Punganur Municipality and two in YSR Kadapa District and Rayachoti, where Erraguntla was added later.
The SEC had allowed renominations for six wards in Tirupati, Chittoor district, three in Punganur, two in Rayachoti, YSR Kadapa district, and one in Erraguntla wards.
The Government had also challenged arbitrary orders given by the SEC to keep ward volunteers away from municipal elections and seize their mobiles. A Lunch motion was filed on March 1st and the High Court after hearing the petitions quashed both the orders of the SEC.
The Election Commissioner had directed all district Collectors to keep the ward volunteers away from the municipal election process scheduled for March 10 citing reasons that their role could either directly or indirectly support a candidate or a political party which would be treated as a violation of Model Code of Conduct, the SEC said in a release. He also directed the district Collectors to closely monitor the movements of the volunteers and keep their phones in safe custody.
Chief Secretary M. Ajay Jain filed a Lunch Motion Petition in the High Court on the 1st of March against the SEC orders. The High Court bench reviewed the matter and dismissed the SEC’s directive to seize the cell phones of the volunteers. The bench said it was unilateral, unconstitutional and against the provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act.