More than a month after being reinstated as the Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC), following a prolonged legal battle with the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government, retired IAS officer Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar on Friday moved the high court again seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the state Crime Investigation Department (CID).
In a petition, the SEC brought to the notice of the court that the Director-General of Police and the CID authorities had filed a false and frivolous case against him on April 21 at the behest of the ruling YSR Congress party.
He requested that the high court directs the Central government to order an inquiry through any Central agency, preferably the CBI, into the case filed against the SEC by the CID.
Ramesh Kumar also wanted the court to stop the state government, the DGP and the CID authorities from interfering with the functioning of the election commission, thereby stifling its autonomy guaranteed under Article 243 K of the Constitution of India, as being illegal, manifestly arbitrary and in contravention of the spirit of Article 243K of the Constitution.
He also asked the court to quash the FIR registered against the SEC and grant a stay on the CID inquiry, pending disposal of the petition. All the material seized by the CID from the office of the SEC be returned forthwith, Ramesh Kumar said.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing on September 7.
It may be mentioned that the CID, based on a complaint lodged by YSRC general secretary V Vijay Sai Reddy, registered a case on April 21. The CID charged Ramesh Kumar with forcing his staff at the SEC to destroy certain files in the office computer pertaining to his complaint to the Union home secretary seeking protection by the central agency.
Ramesh Kumar wrote to the Union ministry stating that he needed security form central forces as he was facing threat to his life from the YSRC leaders. He pointed out that none other than chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy himself made wild allegations against him and his cabinet colleagues had used abusive and threatening language against the SEC.
As part of the investigation, the CID seized the central processing unit (CPU), scanner and laptop of the SEC, postal register and mobile phone of one of the employees K Samba Murthy, who allegedly erased all the files in the system. Ramesh Kumar expressed the apprehension that the seizure was aimed at tampering with the election process that was underway.
Subsequently, the Jagan government removed Ramesh Kumar from the SEC post through an ordinance but the latter moved the high court challenging the same. After a prolonged battle in the high court and later in the Supreme Court, the Jagan government reinstated him as the SEC on July 30.