Vijayawada: In yet another jolt to the YSR Congress government, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh High Court order with regard to reinstating Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner ( SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar.

Last week, the High Court directed the state government to reinstate Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as SEC, after scrapping the ordinance and related GOs issued by the YSRC government reducing the tenure of the SEC to three years from five years.

Not convinced with the AP government promulgating the ordinance to curtail reinstating Ramesh Kumar, the SC refused to accept the stay orders.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices A.S. Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy refused to stay the order and sought response from the SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar who was restored as state poll panel chief.

The Andhra Pradesh government moved the Supreme Court challenging the order of the High Court striking down an ordinance curtailing the tenure of the SEC from five to three years.

On May 29, the AP High Court had struck down the ordinance promulgated on April 10 by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government curtailing the tenure of the SEC.

The High Court had also quashed a GO appointing retired judge V. Kanagaraj as the new SEC and restored bureaucrat Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as the chief of the state poll panel.

Justice V Kanagaraj, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, assumed charge as the SEC on April 11, replacing Ramesh Kumar. The YSR Congress government had on April 10 abruptly removed Ramesh Kumar from the post by promulgating the ordinance, amending the AP Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, dealing with the tenure of the SEC.

The Supreme Court questioned the AP government about curtailing the tenure of the SEC by promulgating an ordinance. The apex court expressed displeasure over the state government’s interference into the constitutional posts ( SEC) and also issued notice to the government to submit a reply on what basis was the ordinance promulgated.

The Supreme Court issued notice to the State Election Commission (SEC) and others on the appeal of the Andhra Pradesh government, against the recent HC orders.

The Supreme Court advised the government not to play games with the people who are in Constitutional posts.

The legal fraternity said that the Supreme Court decision was a jolt to Andhra Pradesh government and now, it is clear that Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar will continue as SEC of Andhra Pradesh.

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