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Important Quality For A Judge To Withstand All Pressures, Odds, To Stand Up Bravely Against All Obstacles: Justice N. V. Ramana [Read Full Text of Speech]

Mehal Jain
18 Oct 2020 7:16 AM GMT
Important Quality For A Judge To Withstand All Pressures, Odds, To Stand Up Bravely Against All Obstacles: Justice N. V. Ramana [Read Full Text of Speech]

"It is an important quality for a judge to withstand all pressures and odds and to stand up bravely against all obstacles", expressed Justice N. V. Ramana.

The senior-most Supreme Court judge and the next-in-line to be Chief Justice of India was speaking at the online condolence ceremony organised in memory of former Apex Court judge, Justice A. R. Lakshmanan.
Articulating that there are innumerable qualities that a person needs to live what can be called a good life: humility, patience, kindness, a strong work ethic and the enthusiasm to constantly learn and improve oneself, Justice Ramana added that most importantly, particularly for a judge, one must be steadfast in holding on to their principles and fearless in their decisions.
In this context, the judge quoted a saint, who while speaking about the contemporary significance of Lord Rama, had said:
"So people worship Rama not because of the success in his life, but for the gracefulness with which he conducted the most difficult moments. That is what is valued; that is the highest value in one's life. It is not the question of how much you have, what you did, what happened or what did not happen. Whatever happened, how did you conduct yourself? That is what determines the quality of who you are."
Iterating that the "greatest strength of the judiciary is the faith of people in it", Justice Ramana proceeded to assert that "faith, confidence and acceptability cannot be commanded, they have to be earned".
"Our values are ultimately our greatest wealth, and we must never forget the same", said the judge.
Towards the end, Justice Ramana recollected some words of Justice Lakshmanan himself, which, he asserted, "we as judges must remember and cherish": "we, the members of the judicial hierarchy have inherited the legacy of dedicated collective endeavour by the bench and the bar in establishing an unbroken tradition of high efficiency, perfect integrity and fearless independence", Justice Raman quoted.
Urging to "take inspiration from his words", Justice Ramana pressed that all members of the bench "strive to commit a vibrant and independent judiciary" which is "required in the current times".
Last week, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, wrote a complaint to the Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde, alleging that some High Court judges are attempting to protect the interests of the major opposition party, Telugu Desom Party, in politically sensitive matters.
A striking feature of the complaint - details of which were revealed to the media in a presser by Ajaya Kellam, the advisor of the CM - is that it accuses Justice N V Ramana, of influencing the administration of justice in the High Court.

The explosive complaint alleges 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.

The Chief Minister narrated a series of cases in which the HC passed adverse orders against major decisions taken by his government, such as the move to enquire into corruption allegations behind major land deals during the TDP-regime, the three capital bills etc.

The Chief Justice of High Court, J K Maheshwari, had recently passed a gag order against the media reporting on the FIR registered against a few prominent personalities alleging involvement in a land scam. The proceedings on the FIR registered by the State Anti-Corruption Bureau were also stayed. The HC has also stayed further proceedings on the report of the cabinet sub-committee which was constituted by the Jagan-government to inquire into various deals and policies of the previous government.

"Since the new Government undertook the enquiry into the actions of Sri N. Chandrababu Naidu in his regime between 2014-2019, it is now clear that Sri Justice N. V. Ramana, started influencing the course of administration of justice in the State, through the Chief Justice Sri Jitendra Kumar Maheswari", Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged.

The Chief Minister alleged that matters involving the interests of TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu were posted before a few judges – Justice A.V. Sesha Sai, Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy, Justice D.V. S.S. Somayyajulu, Justice D. Ramesh.

He said that Justice Ramana's proximity to TDP was well-known and that he had served as legal advisor and Additional Advocate General in the past advising the government-run by TDP.

"In my respectful view, the subject matter may be looked into by your esteemed good selves to consider initiating such steps as may be considered fit and proper, to ensure that the State Judiciary's neutrality is maintained. Further material if any, corroborative of the above contents and the enclosed annexures, shall be made available by me to your esteemed institution to substantiate the above", the CM urged the CJI in the letter which enclosed with it the controversial orders passed by the HC, details of land holdings and assets of Justice Ramana etc.

Jagan himself is facing 31 criminal cases, including 11 cases registered by the CBI and 7 cases registered by the Enforcement Directorate over allegations of corruption and amassing disproportionate wealth.

A bench headed by Justice Ramana had recently passed directions urging High Courts to take steps to expedite the trial of criminal cases against MPs/MLAs.

Click here to read the full text of the speech

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