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AP HC Requests Justice R V Raveendran To Inquire Into Phone Conversation Designing Plot Against HC CJ & Senior SC Judges [Read Order]

Mehal Jain
19 Aug 2020 12:21 PM GMT
AP HC Requests Justice R V Raveendran To Inquire Into Phone Conversation Designing Plot Against HC CJ & Senior SC Judges [Read Order]
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court last week ordered inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the genuineness of an alleged telephonic conversation between a former High Court judge and a principal junior civil judge, who is under suspension, conspiring to design a plot against the Chief Justice of the High Court and senior judges of the SC. A bench of Justices M. Satyanarayana Murthy...

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The Andhra Pradesh High Court last week ordered inquiry by a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the genuineness of an alleged telephonic conversation between a former High Court judge and a principal junior civil judge, who is under suspension, conspiring to design a plot against the Chief Justice of the High Court and senior judges of the SC.

A bench of Justices M. Satyanarayana Murthy and Lalitha Kanneganti took cognisance of a conversation contained in a pen drive and requested Justice R V Raveendran, former SC judge, to hold an inquiry into it.

"Unfortunately, today, it is an unpleasant or gloomy day in the story of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh because the High Court itself has to ward of the brazen onslaught from the third parties to demean the prestige of the pristine judicial institution in the eye of the litigant public", lamented the division bench.

The bench cited the SC precedent in the suo moto case taken last year in which retired SC judge, Justice A K Patnaik, was asked to inquire if the sexual harassment allegations against the then CJI, Ranjan Gogoi, was a part of larger conspiracy.

The audio conversation, when translated into English, was found to disclose a serious conspiracy against the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court by designing a plot and sending a petition. The persons in the conversation were planning to collect material against another senior most sitting judge of the Supreme Court so as to to mar his career.

The bench extracted specific sentences in the translated version as follows:

 "Since it is a plot designed against the Chief Justice of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh with mala fide intention with connivance of an undisclosed interest of different persons, unless authenticity or genuineness of the contents of the material in the pen drive is established, this court cannot proceed against anyone and decide the petitions", the bench was of the view.

The bench further noted, "The way as to how a conversation between two persons took place would prima facie establish that there was a conspiracy against the Chief Justice and a senior most judge of the Supreme Court, pernicious acts of the person who made such allegation has to be discouraged".

"Otherwise the public may lose faith in the courts since in a democratic set up intrinsic and embedded faith in the adjudicatory system is of seminal and pivotal concern. It is the faith and faith alone that keeps the system alive. It provides oxygen constantly. Fragmentation of faith has the effect-potentiality to bring in a reasoned verdict from a temperate judge, but does not intend to, and rightly so, to guillotine much of time at the altar of reasons", said the bench.

It proceeded to cite, "Thus, it is clear as day that everyone involved in the system of dispensation of justice has to inspire the confidence of the common man in the effectiveness of the judicial system. Sustenance of faith has to be treated as spinal sans sympathy or indulgence. If someone considers the task to be herculean, the same has to be performed with solidarity for faith is the 'elan vital' of our system".

The bench noted that the conversation further discloses use of intemperate language against two Senior most sitting judges of the Supreme Court and that it is a matter of serious concern. If such conversation goes to the public it will certainly crumble the confidence of the public on courts and the system itself. In the circumstances, it is the duty of the highest court to preserve public faith in the institution while rendering justice to every litigant.

"When a serious allegation is made against the chief justice in a petition sent to the President of India by one Hamsraj and the present attempt being made against the judges of the highest court of the country, besmirching the entire judicial institution, the truth or otherwise in such plot being prepared by person who had conversation with the intervener Ramakrishna is to be unearthed since it is the duty of the court to unravel the truth in the judicial process. Otherwise the system will collapse one day or the other", the bench reflected.

The bench deemed it appropriate to order necessary enquiry while making it clear that no opinion is expressed as to the voice of the persons, or as to the authenticity of the conversation contained in the pen drive and without recording any finding that it is the voice of the third party, that is, the person who had conversation with Ramakrishna or the interest of the third party behind the conversation.

The Bench requested Justice R.V. Raveendran, retired judge of the Supreme Court, to hold an enquiry to find out the authenticity/genuineness of the conversation contained in the pen drive with regard to the plot designed against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and being designed against senior most sitting judges of the Supreme Court and undisclosed interest of third parties.

The bench further directed the Directors of CBI and IB to depute responsible officers to obtain/collect information from the agency/service providers pertaining to conversation contained in the pen drive and other material collected from the registry and submit to Justice Raveendran as expeditiously as possible.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]



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