Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha
The Election Commission on Friday removed Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha from the post and appointed senior-most IAS officer L V Subrahmanyam of the 1983 batch in the place of the former.
Earlier, the EC had removed two top bureaucrats from their positions during election time.
Also, the EC directed that Punetha, scheduled to retire from service May-end, be posted to a 'non-election' position.'
Reacting to the development, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu questioned the reason behind the EC’s decision and termed it “Centre’s conspiracies” against the state.
“For what mistake did EC transfer the Chief Secretary? How can you transfer without telling the mistake he did? Election Commission should work in an unbiased manner,” said Naidu.
“I am condemning the transfer of Chief Secretary. I am condemning Centre's conspiracies against Andhra. I will see if they will arrest me tomorrow or day after,” he added.
Punetha had filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court on March 27 challenging the EC order transferring the Director General of Intelligence A B Venkateswara Rao.
In the petition, he contended that the EC did not have any 'untrammelled powers' to interfere with the course of administration that is unconnected to polling.
''The EC cannot engage in unchecked, arbitrary and uncanalised exercise of power.
The EC order suffers from the vice of lack of jurisdiction, suffers from being a colourable exercise of power and is based on alien purposes or oblique motives which have nothing to do with the conduct of polling duties, state Political Secretary (General Administration Department) N Srikant had said in the petition filed on behalf of the Chief Secretary.
The Chief Secretary, in fact, had complied with the EC order on Tuesday midnight and transferred the Intelligence DG, along with two district SPs, but he cancelled the Intelligence chiefs transfer order Wednesday morning after the Chief Minister allegedly raised a hue and cry.
The High Court had rejected the Chief Secretarys petition last Friday, forcing him to issue an order shifting the DG intelligence.