Why AP High Court called Jagan Govt “Fraud on Power”

It is not common for the High Court to use strong words to describe a government or its decisions. However, of late, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has been using “strong language” to call out the unconstitutional actions of Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s government. 
Commenting on the removal of Nimmagadda Ramesh as the State Election Commission and appoint V. Kanagaraj in that place, a division bench comprising chief justice J.K. Maheshwari and justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy struck down the ordinance promulgated by the Andhra Pradesh Governor appointing the new SEC. They said: “It is actuated by fraud on power and does not qualify the test of rationality and reasonableness specified in Constitution of India.”
Moreover, Jagan’s doubts over casting Ramesh Kumar and attacking him on personal grounds with reference to caste, the Judges stated, “They (chief minister and Council of Ministers) have decided to remove Mr Ramesh Kumar due to not having connivance and brought narcissist Ordinance to remove him and to bring the person of their choice. Therefore, the promulgation of Ordinance is actuated by oblique reason and on extraneous grounds.”
The court also made it clear that cessation of office means termination from office, which takes away the valuable right accrued on the constitutional authority appointed under Article 243K of the Indian Constitution. “There is no public interest or constitutional necessity to take immediate action by the governor through the Ordinance,” it ruled.
Interestingly, the Judges also kept referring to the age of Retired Justice Kanagaraj several time. Significantly, the age of Justice (retd). Stating that none of the Election Commissioners had so far worked above the age of 65 years, the Court said removing Ramesh Kumar and appointing Justice Kanagaraj at the age of 77 years “how fair and reasonable is that and how that falls within the electoral reforms is not appealable to us.”

Clearly, the verdict seemed to have shaken the Jagan government. But what is significant is how the High Court is giving a rap to the current government’s insensible decisions. This exemplifies how every state needs the Judiciary to keep the legislature in check time and again and act in public interest. 

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