Jagan Mohan Reddy (File photo)
VIJAYAWADA: Bureaucrats in Andhra Pradesh have been “emboldened” by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter to the CJI, in which he levelled allegations against senior judges of the SC and the high court, a judge said in court on the eve of his retirement.
Justice Rakesh Kumar of the AP high court made the observation while ruling on a plea seeking his recusal from hearing a batch of petitions challenging the sale of government land. Justice Kumar admitted to being unaware if the CJI had started contempt proceedings against Jagan for writing the letter. “But it is a fact that a recommendation has been made by the collegium of the SC to transfer the chief justices of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” he said.
Even as he clarified that he wasn’t raising any question on the transfer of the chief justices, Justice Kumar said he was constrained to observe that the transfer of high court judges or chief justices should “reflect some transparency”.
After all, they are also holding constitutional posts, just like members of the Supreme Court collegium, he added.
The division bench of Justices Kumar and D Ramesh rejected the recusal plea moved by the state government and passed an order initiating criminal prosecution against Mission Build AP director and senior IAS officer Pravin Kumar. The bench said the officer had submitted a false affidavit, which amounted to perjury.
The court issued notices to Pravin Kumar, asking why action should not be taken against him for contempt of court for trying to interfere in the discharge of judicial functions of high court with false allegations.
Justice Kumar also wrote a separate judgment in his defence against the allegations made in the recusal petition. “With a heavy heart, I may not refrain from recording that protection of fundamental rights of citizens of Andhra Pradesh has become very difficult,” he said.
He mentioned how the police filed closure reports in more than seven cases pending against the CM a day after the SC passed a judgement to fast-track cases against legislators. He said the present CM is accused in more than 30 cases, of which 10 are registered by CBI in which chargesheets have been filed long ago. Justice Kumar said he did not know if the CM would get final relief in the cases by writing to the CJI.
“But the fact remains that he succeeded in getting undue advantage at present,” he added. With the transfer of the judges, the cases against Jagan will get delayed, he said.