Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday filed a counter affidavit in the AP High Court in reply to the writ petition moved by Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar and a few others on his removal as the State Election Commissioner (SEC) after the promulgation of ordinance 5 of 2020.

In the counter affidavit, the AP government denied the contentions of Ramesh Kumar and others as factually incorrect and the impugned ordinance was brought in as part of the electoral reforms undertaken by the government as a policy decision.

Dismissing the allegations that removal of SEC is unconstitutional, AP government in the affidavit justified the ordinance citing that the ordinance was aimed to ensure transparency in the electoral process in local bodies and the ordinance in question is in continuation of that process.

The government also mentioned that it is incorrect to contend that the impugned ordinance is malafide and the consequences were secured through suspect means. It added Ramesh Kumar has vested right to continue in tenure until its end is factually incorrect.

It may be recalled that Mr Kumar had alleged that the AP government is against a free and fair election and his response to postpone the local body elections for six weeks upon receiving complaints, led to his removal from SEC chair.

The AP government has meanwhile appointed Justice V. Kanagaraj as the new election commissioner of Andhra Pradesh.

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