At least three lawyers appointed as the Andhra Pradesh government’s pleaders resigned Friday following a string of High Court orders that went against the government.
The three lawyers — G Sateesh, Habib Shaikh and P Rao — sent in their resignations Friday, saying they were stepping down on personal grounds. Their resignations were immediately accepted by the YSRCP government. A few hours before the three resigned, the state government appointed Sumathi Kumari, Vaddiboyana Sujatha and Kiran Tirumalasetti as the new government pleaders in the High Court. Sources said this was the indication to Sateesh, Shaikh and Rao to quit.
Andhra Pradesh Advocate General Subhramian Sriram merely said that the government decided to change its legal team. “We made a few changes in our team… Basically we recruited a new team that we feel is more capable of defending the government’s decisions,” he said.
However, sources said the three were asked to put in their papers for failing to defend the state government’s position on various issues, including the removal of State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar for postponing municipal and local body elections which were scheduled to be held on March 25.
While removing Kumar, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had alleged that the Election Commissioner was acting on the orders of former CM N Chandrababu Naidu and had postponed the polls without consulting the government. However, the High Court overturned that order. “The setback in the High Court sealed the fate of the government pleaders,” an official said, adding that Jagan took it as a personal insult. “When the Supreme Court refused to stay the High Court order, the CM was livid that the state-appointed lawyers did not do their job properly.”
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