BREAKING NEWS

Govt-HC Nexus? AP High Court chides State Election Commission on Panchayat Polls

A division bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court reserved its verdict on the appeal filed by State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar challenging the single judge bench order suspending the panchayat poll schedule issued by the poll body.
 
The division bench of Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C. Praveen Kumar reserved its verdict after hearing both the sides — the State government and the SEC — for two days.
 
During the hearing, Advocate General S. Sriram placed the details related to the ongoing Covid vaccination drive before the bench. Sriram informed the court that by Monday evening, 45,000 health workers were administered the vaccine and in the coming 10 days, 3.7 lakh health workers will be vaccinated. 
 
Sriram further informed the court that in the first week of February, around seven lakh police, municipal and revenue officials will be vaccinated. Sriram said the State has received 9.6 lakh doses of vaccines of two companies (9.4 lakh of one company and 20,000 of the other) and the second dose of vaccine will be given to the beneficiaries after 28 days.
 
‘Govt Using Covid Vaccine to postpone elections’
 

Arguing on behalf of the SEC, senior counsel B Adinarayana Rao claimed that the government is showing Covid vaccination as a pretext to postpone the elections. Adinarayana Rao said the intensity of Covid has reduced considerably in the State and the number of daily cases has also come down drastically. He informed the court that Covid can no longer be called a pandemic and pointed out that establishments and institutions such as schools, cinemas, temples and amusement facilities have been reopened. 
 
Adinarayana Rao said that people are going to all those places, which have reopened, by taking precautionary measures and said there is no harm in conducting the panchayat elections at this juncture.
 
Another senior counsel DV Sitarama Murthy, representing SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, found fault with the government for casting aspersions on Ramesh Kumar. The counsel said that the courts have to consider the process under which the notification was issued by the SEC and cannot stop the notification issued by it on the grounds of Covid vaccination process or the schedule of the vaccination.
 
The bench, during the hearing, found fault with Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar for stating that the government was not in favour of conducting the election during his tenure, and said that people in Constitutional posts should maintain self-restraint. Meanwhile, the Bench dismissed the implead petitions filed by Government Employees Federation and YSR Teachers Federation, and reserved its verdict on the SEC’s appeal.
 
Practice self-restraint: HC to SEC
 
The bench found fault with SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar for stating that the government was not in favour of conducting the election during his tenure and said that people in Constitutional posts should maintain self-restraint.
 
Following the change of Chief Justices of AP High Court recently, rumours are rife in Andhra Pradesh that they have been shifted to rule judgements in favour of the state government. 
 
According to a political analyst “these judgements by High Court, which earlier found fault with Government’s unacceptable ways of operating, are now happening in favour of it. It indicates how there is a political nexus between BJP and YSRCP to turn verdicts in their favour by using the judicial transfers as a tool. It doesn’t bode well for AP which has been suffering. And, then there are key cases like Amaravati farmers and others which will suffer too if the High Court is biased towards the government and ignores the pleas of common man.”

Photo Gallery