Andhra Pradesh HC to take up state’s plea against SEC notification on Monday

Hyderabad: All eyes are on the judiciary as the bitter battle over conduct of local body polls between the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government and the State Election Commission (SEC) has landed before the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The HC, which is on vacation, will take up on Monday the house motion moved by the state government challenging the SEC notification on holding the gram panchayat polls in February. The legal tussle may even reach the Supreme Court as both parties are keen to have their way and the aggrieved side is expected to pursue the legal options till the highest judicial body decides on the contentious issue.

Official sources told Deccan Chronicle that the state government would convey what it feels is a genuine concern, that the polls would severely hamper the Covid-19 vaccination drive on the one hand and on the other possibly revive the spread of Coronavirus which is on the decline at present. Several employees organisations have also expressed concern over their safety in the event of the polls being held.

Though the courts had earlier dealt with the tussle between the government and SEC, the present case has gained significance in the backdrop of what Justice Rakesh Kumar pointed out in one of his judgments as the Chief Minister’s “undue” advantageous position following the transfer of Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari.

Justice Rakesh Kumar, who recently retired, made several sensational observations in his order in a public interest litigation and even apprehended that the people may draw an inference that the Supreme Court collegium transferred the Chief Justices of two the Telugu states after Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter to the Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde.

The SEC, sources said, is confident that there were several precedents where the courts refused to intervene after the Election Commission announced the poll notification. “There were umpteen number of rulings by the courts including the apex court declining to interfere in the poll process or direct the postponement of elections,” said sources in the SEC.

“The courts’ role is all the more important in view of several employees’ organisations openly declaring that they will not be part of the poll process,” a senior SEC official pointed out.



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