AP govt reinstates Ramesh Kumar as SEC on HC orders

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government has issued an order reinstating N Ramesh Kumar as the State Election Commissioner in compliance with a state high court ruling.

The notification issued late on Thursday restoring Kumar’s post, however, stipulated that the reinstatement would be subject to the outcome of the state government’s plea in the Supreme Court against the high court ruling.

The AP High Court had on May 29 struck down an ordinance of the state government curtailing the SEC’s tenure from five to three years.

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It had also set aside the government’s another order appointing retired Judge V Kanagaraj as the SEC and had directed the government to restore Ramesh Kumar’s position as the SEC.

The state government had subsequently challenged the high court ruling before the apex court, which had refused to stay the high court order. The mater is still pending with the Supreme Court.

Ramesh Kumar, meanwhile, had filed a contempt petition in the high court against the state government for not reinstating him in accordance with its May 29 order.

The HC had directed Kumar to make make a representation to the Governor for reinstating him as the SEC.

The retired bureaucrat, accordingly, met Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan on July 20 and requested that he be reinstated as SEC.

On July 21, the Governor directed the state government to comply with the HC order.

Though the state government sought a stay on the HC directive on the contempt petition, the Supreme Court did not grant any relief.

Left with no other option, the government finally issued an order on Thursday reinstating Ramesh Kumar as SEC.

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