Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on 13 April heard the writ petition filed by former State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar challenging the termination of his tenure by the state government.

Mr Ramesh Kumar argued that the Andhra government has failed to provide reasons for its sudden decision to end his term and has abused its power with the sole intention to throw him out of office. He insisted that there was no justifiable ground for the ordinance. The High court has directed the state government to file a counter by 16 April. The matter was posted to 20 April for the final hearing.

The Division Bench headed by Chief Justice J.K Maheshwari along with Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy heard the petitions and other PILs filed on the same issue through video conference on Monday.

It may be recalled that the SEC has appealed to declare the ordinance (no. 5 of 2020) and the GOs through which Madras High Court retired judge V. Kanagaraj was appointed as his successor as unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General (AG) said that fair opportunity should be given to the state government and that one month was required to file a reply. But the High Court refused to give more than three days to the state to file a reply. The AG has time till 16 April to file a reply and the petitioners can submit rejoinders by 17 April.
Initially, the AG argued that the case should be treated as a service matter but Jandhyala Ravi Shankar, appearing on behalf of Dr Kamineni Srinivas (BJP), argued that it was a matter of public interest and hence it cannot be treated as service matter alone.

After the AG said he did not have copies of petitions filed by Mr Ramesh Kumar and others, the HC advised concerned parties to arrange for the petitions and hand it to the AG before Monday evening.

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