Andhra HC allows Civil Supplies Minister to talk to media

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday allowed Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Sri Venkateshwara Rao to speak to the media but restricted him from commenting on the ongoing panchayat election process.

Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu issued interim orders allowing the minister to talk to the media, but restricted him from casting aspersions on the State Election Commission as it is a Constitutional body with discretionary powers.

Rao had challenged State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar’s order restricting him from addressing the media.

The minister’s counsel argued that the SEC cannot deprive Rao’s fundamental right of freedom of speech.

Before restricting Rao, the SEC gave a show cause notice to which the minister replied giving his explanation.

Three phases of the four-phase panchayat polls have been completed in the southern state. Following the rural local body elections, the election process for the urban local bodies will begin.