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"...Governor had to intervene to appoint Ramesh Kumar as SEC after High Court's judgment...There are contempt proceedings (against the state government). What is this?", CJI Bobde asked.
The Supreme Court today pulled up the Andhra Pradesh government for failing to comply with the High Court's order to reinstate State Election Commissioner (SEC) Dr N Ramesh Kumar.
The Court granted Ramesh a week's time to file an affidavit after he sought to place additional facts pertaining to pending contempt proceedings before the High Court.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian today took up the petitions challenging the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court to quash an Ordinance which reduced the tenure of the SEC from five to three years.
Today, Senior Counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Kumar, apprised the Court of certain developments with respect to the case. He stated that the order of the High Court directing the reinstatement of Ramesh Kumar as SEC has not been complied with.
An application filed in this regard by Ramesh points out that he had filed a contempt plea before the High Court against the state government for failing to reinstate him as SEC. The High Court, on July 17, granted liberty to Ramesh to take recourse to approach the Governor for implementation of its order.
An application seeking a stay on the contempt proceedings was then filed before the Supreme Court by the State of Andhra Pradesh.
In the meantime, Ramesh made a representation to the Governor. Subsequently, the Governor issued a letter dated July 21 directing the state government to take necessary actions to ensure that the High Court's order is implemented.
CJI Bobde observed today that it was unfortunate that the Governor had to intervene in the matter in order to ensure that the decision of the High Court was implemented.
Senior Advocate SK Ganguly, appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh, assured the Court today that the government would ensure compliance with the High Court's judgment.
During the hearing today, Salve also told the Court that comments such as "judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court should be locked up with COVID patients" were made on social media after the judgment for Ramesh's reinstatement was passed.
After hearing the parties, the Court allowed Ramesh Kumar a week's time to place the additional facts on record and file an affidavit accordingly.