VIJAYAWADA: A day after Advocate General S Sriram, at a media briefing, found fault with Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar restoring himself as the State Election Commissioner (SEC), the latter has said that the tone and tenor of the former’s press conference revealed that the government did not intend to implement the High Court’s directions by citing “wholly untenable reasons.
“It is highly regrettable that the government continues to show its utter disregard to the independence and integrity of the institution of SEC. The stand taken by the State government is in clear violation of the directions and judgment of the AP High Court,’’ Ramesh Kumar said in a statement on Sunday.Referring to the May 29 judgment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, he said the verdict set aside the Ordinance issued by the government on April 10 and the consequential GO, which notified the appointment of retired Justice V Kanagaraj as the SEC.
“The High Court, in para 308 of the judgment, directed the Andhra Pradesh government to restore my position as SEC and allow me to continue in office until completion of my tenure i.e. till March 31, 2021. The High Court rightly recognised my right to continue as SEC for the reminder of the tenure,’’ Ramesh Kumar said.
With this verdict, Justice Kanagaraj ceases to hold office of SEC, Ramesh Kumar said and added that the office of SEC cannot remain unoccupied and the same cannot remain vacant. “Since a constitutional post cannot remain vacant and also that the AP Government contended that I was not removed, but by virtue of the Ordinance, I cease to continue as SEC, I stand restored to the office of the SEC,” he said.
“Accordingly, I issued a communication of assumption of charge, and the Secretary of AP SEC issued the proceedings on May 29 notifying my restoration,’’ he said. However, the AG held a press conference on May 30 and the tone and tenor of the press conference reveals that the government doesn’t want to implement the directions of the High Court.