Writ Petition No.8163, 8164, 8165, 8166, 8167 & 8394 of 2020
Article 213 and Article 243 K, Section 200 of the Andhra Pradesh Act
A writ petition was filed by the N Ramesh Kumar (SEC) filed a writ petition in the HC challenging the ordinance issued by the State Government amending the Panchayat Raj Act. Ramesh Kumar has ceased to hold his office of the SEC, as under the new eligibility criteria only the retired judge of HC can hold the post. Ramesh Kumar has taken the decision of postponing the election in this situation, if it was not done so it would make the area the hotspot of Corona Virus. The decision was supported by public but was opposed by the government.
As per the observing the judgement of the SC in Krishansing Tomar v. Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad (2006) 8 SCC 352, Mohinder Singh Gill v. The Cief Election Commissioner, New Delhi (1978) 1 SCC 405and TN Seshan v. Union of India (1995) 4 SCC 611, the SEC has a indefeasible right to continue for conduct of the free and fair elections, which is duty casted on him, and he can only be removed by way of impeachment as per the procedure as discussed here in above. Thus, his removal by an order of Principal Secretary, though he is holding constitutional post is unconstitutional and illegal.
Under this the HC struck down the AP Panchayat Raj Ordinance and cut short the term of State Election Commissioner from 5 to 3 years. The Court directed the government to reinstate Mr. Ramesh Kumar as SEC with immediate effect and also agreed with the Article 213 of the Constitution was conditional upon the satisfaction that the circumstances exist for such an action. The Court also agreed that the impugned ordinance was violation of Article 243 K which state that SEC could not be removed except in the same manner.
Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act
Section 109 of the Indian Evidence Act and Section 138 of NI Act,1881 and Section 32(2)(A) of the 1954 Act