Vijayawada: The Supreme Court, on 24 July, said it was unfortunate that Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan had to intervene to implement the High Court order directing the state to reinstate Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as the State Election Commissioner (SEC).

The apex court also declined to stay the contempt of court proceedings against the Andhra Pradesh government in the SEC issue. The state government had moved the apex court seeking a stay on the proceedings.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the SEC, asked the court for a week to file an affidavit to bring some additional facts regarding the contempt proceedings before the High Court. He also pointed out that some unwarranted comments were made against judges of the High Court after the verdict for the reinstatement of Mr. Ramesh Kumar. The Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde gave him a week’s time to file an affidavit.

Meanwhile, the counsel appearing for the state government assured the Bench that the HC’s directive would be complied with.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar, in an application filed in the Supreme Court to bring some additional facts on record, said the High Court had, on 17 July, asked him to approach the Governor for his reinstatement. On 23 July, the Governor had directed the state government to take necessary action for his reinstatement.

The Governor’s direction came at a time when the special leave petition filed by the government against the High Court verdict and it’s application for staying the contempt proceedings initiated by Mr. Ramesh Kumar were pending disposal in the Supreme Court.

The High Court had, on 29 May, struck down the AP Panchayat Raj (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2020 through which the Andhra government had reduced the tenure of the SEC from five to three years and appointed Madras High Court retired judge V. Kanagaraj as new the SEC. The HC had further ordered that Mr. Ramesh Kumar be reinstated as the SEC. However, the order had not been complied with

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