AP SEC files plea in HC seeking CBI probe into 'leak of privileged communication' between him and Guv

·3-min read

Amaravati, Mar 20 (PTI): Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar filed a petition in the High Court on Saturday seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged leak of 'privileged communication' between him and the Governor.

The SEC also mentioned about the motion of breach of privilege moved by two ministers against him to the Assembly Speaker, 'based on one such privileged communication between me and the Governor', and a subsequent letter addressed to him by the Legislature Secretary in the matter.

He named the Union Home Secretary, AP Chief Secretary, the Governor's Secretary, CBI, state ministers P Ramachandra Reddy and Botcha Satyanarayana (both of whom moved the motion of privilege) and a private person as respondents in the petition.

The SEC pointed out that as the state government has been trying to interfere with the conduct of elections, he had approached the Governor on several occasions for redressal of issues through confidential letters.

'The letters are written in strict confidence and are not for public consumption and ought not to have leaked to the general public or media.However, these confidential and privileged communications are constantly being brought into the public domain by certain individuals having vested interest,' the SEC said.

Ramesh Kumar, while citing certain communication between him and the Governor since January this year, submitted that such communications were supposed to be protected against all possible leaks.

Referring to a private person, whom he made a respondent in the case, the SEC pointed out that a petition was filed in the High Court based on a letter he had written to the Governor on March 12.

'This respondent does not disclose the source from which he obtained such privileged communication and chose to rely upon it to seek a Mandamus against me,' the SEC added.

Noting that such communications were between two constitutional bodies, the SEC referred to certain judgments of various courts in this regard.

'Leakage of such communications had severely hampered the functioning of the petitioner (SEC) and if such trend is allowed to continue, it will have serious consequences in the democratic polity and governance.It would hamper functioning of the constitutional bodies and, hence, is liable to be dealt with an iron fist,' Ramesh Kumar contended.

The SEC said he made several requests to the Chief Secretary and the Secretary to the Governor to investigate into the leak of 'privileged and confidential communication'.

'However, the Secretary to the Governor failed to act upon the requests,' he added.

Ramesh Kumar requested the court to direct the Union Home Secretary, AP Chief Secretary, Secretary to Governor and the CBI to investigate the leak of privileged communication.

He made a plea that the court direct the CBI to file an interim report within 72 hours.

Taking up the petition, Justice Rao Raghunandan Rao of the High Court asked the registry to refer it to the Chief Justice for appropriate listing and hearing. PTI DBV BN BN