Top
Top Stories

SC Issues Notice On AP Govt Challenge Against HC Order Quashing Ordinance On State Election Commissioner; Refuses Stay

Nilashish Chaudhary
10 Jun 2020 9:52 AM GMT
SC Issues Notice On AP Govt Challenge Against HC Order Quashing Ordinance On State Election Commissioner; Refuses Stay

SC Issues Notice To SEC But Refuses To Stay HC Order Quashing Ordinance To Curtail Tenure

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
599+GST
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.
  • Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.
Already a subscriber?

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the State Election Commissioner (SEC) in Andhra Pradesh Government's challenge to a High Court Order by which it reinstated retired IAS officer Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as SEC.

The High Court had struck down the Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated in April this year, through which the tenure of the SEC was sought to be curtailed from a 5 year term to that of 3 years. Further, through the Ordinance, a judicial officer of the rank of a High Court Judge was to be appointed SEC.

The matter came up before a Bench led by CJI SA Bobde, also comprising of Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, who indicated that they were not entirely satisfied with the motive behind the Ordinance.

"We are not satisfied that your motives were entirely innocent. How can you pass an ordinance like this?" remarked the Chief Justice.

Representing the AP Government, Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi informed the Court that the High Court had struck down the provision under which the incumbent SEC had been appointed. Seeking stay on the High Court's Order, Dwivedi urged that the current SEC would not be able to continue serving in his post if the said order was allowed to stand.

"The High Court has struck down the provision under which the incumbent was appointed…It has found that decision is ultra vires. The provision for appointment is struck down. How can the incumbent continue in his post?" argued Dwivedi.

Though the Apex Court did not stay the effect of the Order, a response from the SEC has been sought.

On May 29, the Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down an Ordinance promulgated on April 10 curtailing the tenure of the State Election Commissioner from five to three years.

The court also quashed a Government Order appointing retired judge V Kanagaraj as the new State Election Commissioner.

It restored retired bureaucrat Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as the SEC.

Justice V Kanagaraj, a retired judge of the Madras High Court, had assumed charge as the SEC on April 11, replacing Ramesh Kumar.

Next Story