VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday decided to hear a petition seeking to declare as illegal the appointment of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as the State Election Commissioner (SEC). The petition was filed by Srikanth Reddy, a resident of Uppalapadu village in Guntur district.
His contention is that Ramesh Kumar’s appointment made via GO No. 11 issued in 2016 stands nullified in view of the recent High Court verdict that SEC can be appointed only by the Governor using his discretionary powers, not on the recommendation of the State Cabinet.
He filed the plea in the form of a co-warrant urging the court to seek an explanation from Ramesh Kumar on the reasons why he was continuing as the SEC despite the High Court verdict. Though he filed the plea in the first week of this month, the high court registry raised some objections and did not allot it a number. Following this, the petitioner’s lawyer sent a strongly-worded letter to the registry pointing out that it had no right to raise objections on the maintainability of a petition.
He insisted that only the high court can decide on the sustainability of a petition and interference of the registry would tantamount to contempt of court. In the wake of his letter, the petition was allotted a number. The petition came up for hearing on Tuesday before a bench comprising Chief Justice Maheswari and Justice K Lalithakumari. The bench said it differed with the view of the registry and decided to hear the petition. Hearing on the same was deferred to July 8.