Vijayawada: Legal battles have dominated one year rule of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh.
The AP High Court has delivered judgments against the Jagan government on more than 40 occasions in the last one year. Latest being the decision to reinstate Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as State Election Commissioner (SEC) of Andhra Pradesh.
It may be recalled that the AP government abruptly removed SEC Ramesh Kumar by promulgating an Ordinance amending the AP Panchayat Raj Act-1994, curtailing the tenure of the SEC to three years from five years. The AP government also appointed Justice V Kanagaraj, a retired judge of Madras High Court as SEC.
This is just a tip of the iceberg of the AP government’s legal battles in the last one year.
From painting village secretariat buildings with party colors to shift the capital from Amaravati to Vizag and from cancellation of Polavaram Hydro Electric Project contract to electoral reforms ordinance are some of the key decisions which faced the legal scrutiny from the High Court.
AP government announced three capitals in the state with Vizag as the Executive Capital, Kurnool as Judicial Capital and Vijayawada as Legislative Capital. However, in a major setback, AP High Court ordered that no government office should be shifted till they hear the case.
The Andhra Pradesh government on April 24 gave a commitment to HC that it would not take any steps to shift the capital from Amaravti to Vizag till the state legislature passes two bills about the decentralization of administration and repealing AP Capital Region Development Authority Act. The two bills were stalled in the state Legislative Council.
Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted to renegotiate the tariff and tenure of the Power Purchase Agreement executed between state-own discoms and developers in Andhra. He alleged that the 25-year agreement was signed to benefit three players.
The high court, however, said the state being a third party cannot seek changes to an agreement signed between a distribution company and a developer. The state government contested the ruling of a single-judge bench of the high court but lost its legal battle on the question of downward revision of the PPAs.
Village secretariat building color:
In a bid to deliver government services at the doorstep of the people, the AP government introduced the Village Secretariat system. The village secretariat office buildings, however, were painted with YSRCP party colors. Taking suo moto cognizance, the High Court ordered that government buildings should not be painted with colors of political parties. The HC further canceled GO 623 issued in April modifying its earlier order for painting government offices, particularly village panchayat offices.
Former Intelligence chief suspension
The High Court struck down the suspension order of IPS officer and former Intelligence chief AB Venkateswara Rao and ordered his immediate reinstatement It also ordered the government to pay him salaries for the period of suspension. He was suspended on charges of corruption.