Home > News > Timing of Jagan letter against SC judge to CJI is ‘suspect’: AG | India News

Timing of Jagan letter against SC judge to CJI is ‘suspect’: AG | India News

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NEW DELHI: Attorney general for India K K Venugopal on Monday said Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his principal advisor, Ajeya Kallam, displayed “contumacious” conduct by writing a letter levelling allegations against Supreme Court’s most senior judge N V Ramana.
India’s top law officer said the timing of the CM’s October 6 letter to the CJI was “suspect” since at that time, a Justice Ramana-led bench was dealing with a PIL seeking expeditious trial in criminal cases pending against elected representatives. Over two dozen criminal cases are pending trial against the CM.
Venugopal expressed this opinion while responding to a letter written by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking the AG’s consent to initiate contempt proceedings for criminal contempt against Reddy and Kallam. The CM’s advisor had on October 10 held a press conference and circulated the CM’s letter to the CJI among mediapersons.
Citing that the CJI was seized of the matter, the AG declined to give consent for initiation of contempt but expressed deep dissatisfaction over the manner in which the letter was written and made public in a press conference.
“I am of the opinion that the timing itself of the letter, as well as it being placed in public domain through a press conference, could certainly be said to be suspect, in the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana on September 16 directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously. As you yourself have pointed out, there are 31 criminal cases pending against the chief minister,” Venugopal said in his reply to Upadhyay.
“In this background, prima facie, the conduct of the said persons (Reddy and Kallam) is contumacious. However, what has to be noted is that the entire case of contempt arises out of the October 6 letter written by the CM directly to the CJI and the subsequent press conference held by Kallam. The CJI is therefore seized of the matter. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to deal with the matter,” the AG added.
A day before the Justice Ramana-led bench took steps to expedite long-pending trials in criminal cases against MPs and MLAs, both sitting and former, the Andhra Pradesh government decided to lodge an FIR on September 15 on land allegedly irregularly purchased by his daughters more than five years ago in Amaravati region.
The bench comprising Justices Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy on September 10 asked the Centre to respond to a new prayer seeking life-time ban on convicted politicians on the same lines as convicted bureaucrats are getting barred from government employment. The SC was informed by amicus curiae Vijay Hansaria that as many as 4,442 criminal cases were pending against former and sitting MPs and MLAs across states. The bench had fixed September 16 for further hearing on the matter.
On October 6, the Justice Ramana-led bench sought additional information from high courts to enable passing substantive orders to put long-pending criminal trials back on track. This triggered further reaction in the form of the CM writing a letter to the CJI, followed by a press conference by his aide on the letter making allegations against Justice Ramana and the HC chief justice.

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