Jagan Vs. Courts
The YSRC government suffered yet another setback with the Supreme Court too directing it to remove the party colours smeared on government offices in rural areas, within four weeks. The state government moved the apex court challenging the High Court verdict on the same. The SC also made it clear that action would be taken under Contempt of Court if the YSRC government failed to remove the party colours.
The Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by the AP government challenging the High Court decision saying that the verdict was very clear. The SC took serious objection to the state government issuing GO 623 which allowed adding one more colour (brown) to the party colours (green, white and blue) on the buildings even after the HC cancelled the earlier GO and directed the government to remove the colours. The apex court said that the state government did a mistake by not removing the party colours.
At this juncture, many are waiting to see if the YSRC government would really remove the party colours on the government offices as Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is known to be an arrogant man who does not step back from his decisions.
In fact, many other directions and orders issued by the High Court had been dumped by the YSRC government like introduction of English medium in the state-run schools and reinstating State Election Commissioner
Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, who was removed by Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government for postponing the local body elections in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The YSRC government had even reduced the tenure of Ramesh Kumar by issuing an ordinance, with the approval of the Governor from five to three years, even though he was a Constitutional head and appointed one former Madras HC judge Kanagaraj from Tamil Nadu in his place.
However, the HC delivered verdict that Ramesh Kumar be reinstated and Kanagaraj be removed with immediate effect. Even then the Jagan Mohan Reddy government tried to stall Nimmagadda from occupying his seat by creating hurdles with Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram saying that self-declaration by Nimmagadda that he is the SEC is not in accordance with the HC order. The state government has to reinstate him following a certain procedure and Nimmagadda has to wait for that to happen, Sriram said and appealed to the SC seeking stay orders on the reinstatement of Ramesh Kumar.
In the wake of such developments wherein the state government is reluctant to obey the orders of the courts, what would happen to the functioning of Andhra Pradesh?
Many would be wondering about the future of AP where everything is landing in the corridors of the courts and the CM is insisting that he should have an upper hand in every issue.
Prof. K. Nageshwar REMARKS
To this, Prof. K. Nageshwar, a political analyst and a former member of the Telangana Legilsative Council, also professor at the Department of Communication and Journalism, Osmania University, says that when there is a stand-off between the legislature (government) and the judiciary, the Governor of that particular state has to take the initiation and recommend President’s Rule.
Known to be a neutral political analyst, Prof. Nageshwar said that when the state government refuses to implement the High Court orders, the HC would send notices to the Chief secretary 4-5 times. Even then, if the orders are not implemented, the CS will be in trouble but the particular IAS officer can avoid the situation by making his/her comments on the note file and asking the state Cabinet to reconsider their decision. In the comments, the IAS officer can mention about the Articles of the Constitution which mention about the rules and send it back to the Cabinet for review.
It is the duty of the Chief Minister, who is a Constitutional head, to respect all the Constitutional bodies. If he fails to do so, there will be breakdown of Constitutional machinery and to address such a problem Article 356 was incorporated into the Constitution, the Professor reminds.
Article 356 states that when there is a breakdown of Constitutional machinery, the Governor should send report to the Union home ministry and the Union Cabinet and if the latter suggests to the Governor that the state government be removed, then President’s Rule can be imposed.
Here too, the Governor cannot take decisions by himself, the Supreme Court will check if there is a strong evidence to indicate that the Constitutional machinery has broken down.
Suppose, in case, the Centre too is in favour of the state government and does not allow removal of the CM and the government, then the citizens too would violate the Constitutional guidelines and there will be Constitutional anarchy, says Prof. Nageshwar.
However, Prof. Nageshwar said that he expects Jagan Mohan Reddy, being the Constitutional head, will abide by the court orders and would not revolt against the court directions. He said that it was not fair to expect Constitutional breakdown in AP and make unfair comments either against Jagan Mohan Reddy or against the YSRC government on various TV news channels. When the people have given mandate to Jagan to rule them, who are political analysts to say that he should be removed, questioned Prof. K Nageshwar.