A lawyer has written a letter to Attorney General KK Venugopal seeking permission to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his press advisor to file charges against a Supreme Court judge.
According to reports, BJP leader and lawyer Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay said that the letter from the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh violates the rights of both the Supreme Court and the High Court and interferes with judicial proceedings and administration of justice.
In his letter, Upadhyay wrote, ‘Worse is that if such examples are approved then political leaders will start making reckless allegations against judges who do not decide cases in their favour and this will become a trend soon. This can prove the last nail in the coffin to mark the end of an independent judiciary.
He wrote, “I, therefore, with Rule 15 (1) (b) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, Regulating the proceedings for contempt of Supreme Court, Rule 3 of 1975, I am seeking your consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Ajay Kallam, Press Advisor to the Government of Andhra Pradesh.”
According to Upadhyay’s letter, the actions of these two persons are in serious contempt of the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh.
The lawyer said in his letter, “It has been two weeks since Reddy’s letter was released to the public and so far, no trial has been initiated by the Supreme Court taking automatic cognizance.”
It may be known that the dispute between the Jagan Mohan government and the High Court of the state came to light recently when Reddy wrote a letter to the Supreme Court Chief Justice SA Bobde alleging that the second most senior judge of the Supreme Court NV Ramanna is plotting to topple his government.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh also alleged that Justice Ramanna was influencing the benches of the Andhra Pradesh High Court due to his close ties with TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu.
After a press conference held on 10 October, the Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister, Ajay Kallam, while reading copies of this letter written on 6 October 2020, read a note written by the Chief Minister, in which the Chief Minister alleged that Justice Ramanna used his influence in the Naidu-Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government in favour of his daughters.
Jagan Reddy also raised questions about the appointment of judges, roster and case allocation in the High Court. The note given to the media said-
‘Ever since the new government started inquiries about the steps taken during Naidu’s 2014-2019 tenure, it is clear that Justice Ramanna started influencing the judicial administration of the state through Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari.’
‘The roster of honourable judges, where important matters of policy and security related to the interests of Chandrababu Naidu were to be presented, were allotted to only a few judges – Justice AV Sesha Sai, Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy, Justice DVSS Somayyajulu and Justice D. Ramesh.’
It is worth noting that the High Court has passed almost 100 orders in the last 18 months, ignoring many important decisions of the Jaganmohan Reddy government.
The decisions which have been stayed by the High Court include decentralization of administration through the transfer of capital from Amravati, the abolition of Andhra Pradesh Council and Andhra Pradesh State Election Commission Commissioner N. The decision to remove Ramesh Kumar from office is included.
The Telugu Desam Party, on the other hand, dismissed Jagan Reddy’s allegations as a “deliberate conspiracy against the judiciary” and said that it could not be more extreme.
TDP Politburo member YanmalaRamakrishnudu issued a statement saying that when a person or organization is disturbed by the illegal and unconstitutional acts of your government, how can you accuse them if the court gives relief Huh. He claimed that the letter also reflected ‘jealousy’ of Reddy against Naidu.
Based on this letter of Jagan, a lawyer from Noida had also filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking action against him for accusing the senior judge of the top court.