YS Jagan receives set back as AP HC strikes off ordinance removing CEC

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Andhra Pradesh government has received a major set back with the AP High Court rejecting the AP Govt GO terminating the services of the State Chief Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar.

The judgement came this morning after the completion of hearing in the case which also ruled that Ramesh Kumar take resume charges with immediate effect. It may be recalled that the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government had earlier removed the State CEC Ramesh Kumar from his position by issuing an ordinance which is now pending with the Home Minister as the Governor had sent it to the centre for ratification. Election Commission being a constitutional body, the ratification needs to be done by the President of India after the Parliament passes it.

Disputing the order, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and 13 others including the former TD Minister Ghanta Srinivas Rao have filed a petition in the court on which the court had delivered its judgement today after a prolonged arguments.

The 2-member bench comprising Chief Justice JK Maheshjeswari, Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy felt that the government had failed to follow the rules in issuing the ordinance and hence it is null and void. “It’s a blatant violation of the Constitution. Any amendments to the Constitution as per article 235K should not be in a retrospective manner”, the court observed.

The court also struck down the two GOs No. 617, 618 and 619 issued by the AP Government removing Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and appointing retired Judge Kanaka Raju, respectively. Hence, the present Judge Kanaka Raju will also lose his job with immediate effect.