11 Oct 2020 5:11 AM GMT
The State of Andhra Pradesh is witnessing an unprecedented constitutional crisis with the State Government openly declaring no-confidence in some of the High Court judges.Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has written 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...
The State of Andhra Pradesh is witnessing an unprecedented constitutional crisis with the State Government openly declaring no-confidence in some of the High Court judges.
Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has written 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.
Complaining that there was bias in the State Judiciary towards the TDP, the CM urged the CJI to take steps to ensure that the "State Judiciary's neutrality is maintained".
This could probably be the first instance where a Chief Minister is openly complaining against judges of the higher judiciary.
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, on Saturday evening - is that it accuses senior Supreme Court judge, Justice N V Ramana, who is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India, 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.
Citing these orders, which were stated to be benefiting politicians belonging to TDP, the Andhra CM claimed that there was bias in the State Judiciary towards the TDP.
After his government came into power in 2019, there was a trend of filing PILs questioning various government decisions, impleading the Chief Minister as a party respondent with the choicest of abuses, the CM alleged. He complained that most of the PILs were admitted by the High Court ignoring the threshold set by the judiciary on entertaining writ petitions on policy matters.
"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 goodselves 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.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Writes to Chief Justice SA Bobde alleging that Justice N. V. Ramana is trying to influence the course of administration of justice in the State pic.twitter.com/TUgzyYQxMW— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) October 10, 2020
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Writes to Chief Justice SA Bobde alleging that Justice N. V. Ramana is trying to influence the course of administration of justice in the State pic.twitter.com/TUgzyYQxMW