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Supreme Court Bar Association Divided Over Resolution Condemning Andhra CM's Complaint To CJI; President Dave Calls It "Premature"

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 Oct 2020 2:06 PM GMT
Supreme Court Bar Association Divided Over Resolution Condemning Andhra CMs Complaint To CJI; President Dave Calls It Premature
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Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association has disagreed with the resolution passed by the Executive Committee of the SCBA condemning the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, for making public his allegations against judges.Dave, who had recused from the EC meeting which passed the resolution, said that he had "strong reservations"...

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Dushyant Dave, Senior Advocate and the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association has disagreed with the resolution passed by the Executive Committee of the SCBA condemning the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, for making public his allegations against judges.

Dave, who had recused from the EC meeting which passed the resolution, said that he had "strong reservations" on passing it at such an early stage.

He pointed out that the complaint was made by a Chief Minister to the Chief Justice of India and that no one had any idea about the truthfulness or otherwise of the allegations. 

Stating that truth will emerge only after an inquiry, he opined that it was "premature to pass any resolution".

If the allegations are found to be false after an inquiry, contempt proceedings must be initiated against the Chief Minister, he added.

Dave also maintained that the judiciary has been following an opaque approach while dealing with complaints against judges. He cited the Kalikho Pul issue and the sexual harassment allegations against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi as instances supporting his opinion.

He bemoaned that the bar remained a "mute spectator" at such instances and said that everyone must introspect on ways to strengthen the institution.

The resolution, which "strongly condemned" the Andhra CM for releasing the complaint to the media, was passed unanimously in a meeting chaired by SCBA Vice President Kailash Vasudev.

All EC members, except the President, were on board in the passing of the resolution, SCBA Acting Honorary Secretary Rohit Pandey said.

The SCBA had said in its resolution that such action by constitutional functionaries is opposed to conventions causing serious inroads impacting the independence of the judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution of India .

Several other bar bodies such as the Bar Council of India, Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association, Delhi High Court Bar Association etc, have also condemned Reddy's action.

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.

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 October 10 - was that it accused 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 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.



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