25 Oct 2020 2:21 PM GMT
An application has been filed before the Attorney General for India seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his advisor, Ajeya Kallam IAS for making public allegations against Justice NV Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court.The application filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyaya before AG K...
An application has been filed before the Attorney General for India seeking his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his advisor, Ajeya Kallam IAS for making public allegations against Justice NV Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court.
The application filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyaya before AG K K Venugopal states :
"It has been two weeks since the release of the letter in the public domain, and as yet, there has been no suo-motu contempt action initiated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. As a responsible advocate of this Court, and a servant of justice, I would be failing in my duty if I allowed things to remain as they are".
Upadhyaya, who also happens to be the petitioner in the PIL seeking expeditious trial of cases against MPs/MLAs, states that he has reasons to believe that the Andhra CM's unprecedented action was a response to the order passed by a bench headed by Justice Ramana on September 16 to fast-track the criminal trial against legislators. He mentions that Jagan Mohan Reddy is facing a number of criminal cases for corruption and disproportionate assets. Following the direction of the Supreme Court, the High Court has passed directions for commencing day-to-day trial of cases against MLAs.
This, according to the petitioner, prompted the Chief Minister to write the letter to the Chief Justice with allegations against Justice N V Ramana.
"..the effect of this release to the public is to undermine the efforts that the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ramana is taking to ensure that trials against MPs/MLAs (including Shri Y.S.J.Reddy) are expedited", the petition states.
He states in his petition that the letter sent by Jagan Mohan Reddy to the Chief Justice of India on October 6 is "scurrilous in nature and wholly attempts to interfere with the independence of the judiciary".
On October 10, Ajeya Kellam IAS, the Principal Advisor to the Andhra CM, convened a press meeting to release the contents of the letter to the media.
In this regard, Upadhyaya states in the petition :
"The audacious assault by the Chief Minister and Shri Kellam on the judiciary of the country is without precedent. The timing of the letter, the contents of the same, the rush to spill it to the public while the matter was pending with the Chief Justice and the separate Statement read out by Shri Kellam make it manifestly clear that this was done to interfere with the course of justice and lower the authority of the court".
He states that the complaint is a direct attack on a sitting judge, who is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India.
It was on October 6 that the Andhra Chief Minister send the complaint to the CJI, alleging that certain judges of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh were biased towards the main opposition party in the State, the Telugu Desom Party.
The explosive complaint alleged that Justice Ramana has been influencing the sittings of the High Court including the roster of a few judges in matters that are important to the TDP.
He requested the CJI to look into the matter and consider initiating steps "as may be considered fit and proper to ensure that the state judiciary's neutrality is maintained".
Two petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court seeking action against Jagan Mohan Reddy for his move against the judges.
The Bar Council of India, Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association have passed resolutions condemning the act of the Andhra CM.
The President of the SCBA, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, however, termed that the SCBA resolution "premature" and said that an enquiry was needed to find out the truthfulness of the allegations. Taking such a stand, Dave recused from the meeting of the SCBA Executive Committee which discussed the resolution.
Click here to download the petition