If the three legal blows the Andhra Pradesh High court inflicted on the state government were not bad enough, today’s verdict overturning the ordinance that removed State Election Commissioner N Ramesh Kumar is a personal embarrassment for Jaganmohan Reddy. The chief minister had personally taken on Ramesh Kumar, accusing him of caste bias and being anti-YSRCP before pushing him out of his post through the ordinance route.
On 10 May, the Jagan government had amended the AP Panchayat Raj Act thereby reducing the tenure of the SEC from five years to three years. It also made it mandatory for a judicial officer to be appointed as SEC instead of retired IAS officers.
Last Friday, the court ordered a CBI probe into the arrest of Dr Sudhakar in Vizag while setting aside the government’s order against senior IPS officer AB Venkateswara Rao. The government had accused Rao of corruption and instituted an inquiry against him while not giving him any posting. The court also ruled against the colour scheme for government buildings. Most government buildings in the state have been painted in YSRCP colours, raising a lot of political heat and dust.
Though Jagan will approach the Supreme court against the High court decision, the verdict that comes on the back of three adverse judgements last Friday, proves one thing. Either the Jagan regime is doing things that do not meet the approval of the law as is suggested by verdicts going against the government. Or the legal advice he is receiving is worthy of being dumped into the Bay of Bengal.
The order will give a shot in the arm to Chandrababu Naidu who had written a letter to Governor Harichandan protesting against the ordinance. It will also put Jagan in an embarrassing position vis-a-vis the Governor who is not likely to be amused by the legal snub.
Ramesh Kumar had postponed the local body elections in March because of the Corona virus pandemic and the YSRCP had attacked him, accusing him of doing so at the behest of the opposition TDP.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh