[Breaking] ‘CJI Seized Of The Matter’: Attorney General Declines Consent For Criminal Contempt Against Andhra CM For Allegations Against Justice Ramana

first_imgTop Stories[Breaking] ‘CJI Seized Of The Matter’: Attorney General Declines Consent For Criminal Contempt Against Andhra CM For Allegations Against Justice Ramana LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK2 Nov 2020 2:26 AMShare This – xThe Attorney General for India, K K Venugopal, has declined consent to initiate criminal contempt against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his advisor, Ajeya Kellam IAS for making public allegations against Justice N V Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court.The AG opined that the conduct of the Andhra CM and his advisor was “prima facie contumacious” but as the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Attorney General for India, K K Venugopal, has declined consent to initiate criminal contempt against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his advisor, Ajeya Kellam IAS for making public allegations against Justice N V Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court.The AG opined that the conduct of the Andhra CM and his advisor was “prima facie contumacious” but as the Chief Justice of India is “seized of the matter” it would not be appropriate for him to deal with the same.The application seeking AG’s consent to initiate criminal contempt was filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.”I am of the opinion that the timing itself of the letter as well as it being placed in the public domain through a press conference could certainly be said to be suspect, in the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana dated 16.09.2020, directing pending prosecution of elected representatives to be taken up and diposed of expeditiously”, the AG said in his reply to Upadhyay, after noting that Jagan was facing criminal prosecution in 31 cases.”In this background, prima facie, the conduct of the said persons is contumacious. However, what has to be noted is that the entire case of contempt arises out of the letter dated 06.10.2020 written by the Chief Minister directly to the Chief Justice of India and the subsequent press conference held by Sh.Kellam. The Chief Justice of India is seized of the matter. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to deal with the matter”, the AG said in the reply.Upadhyay had stated in his letter as follows :”It has been two weeks since the release of the letter in the public domain, and as yet, there has been no suo-motu contempt action initiated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. As a responsible advocate of this Court, and a servant of justice, I would be failing in my duty if I allowed things to remain as they are”, said the application.Upadhyay, who also happens to be the petitioner in the PIL seeking expeditious trial of cases against MPs/MLAs, states that he has reasons to believe that the Andhra CM’s unprecedented action was a response to the order passed by a bench headed by Justice Ramana on September 16 to fast-track the criminal trial against legislators. He mentions that Jagan Mohan Reddy is facing a number of criminal cases for corruption and disproportionate assets. Following the direction of the Supreme Court, the High Court has passed directions for commencing day-to-day trial of cases against MLAs.This, according to the petitioner, prompted the Chief Minister to write the letter to the Chief Justice with allegations against Justice N V Ramana.”..the effect of this release to the public is to undermine the efforts that the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ramana is taking to ensure that trials against MPs/MLAs (including Shri Y.S.J.Reddy) are expedited”, the petition states.He stated in his petition that the letter sent by Jagan Mohan Reddy to the Chief Justice of India on October 6 is “scurrilous in nature and wholly attempts to interfere with the independence of the judiciary”.On October 10, Ajeya Kellam IAS, the Principal Advisor to the Andhra CM, convened a press meeting to release the contents of the letter to the media.In this regard, Upadhyaya stated in the petition :”The audacious assault by the Chief Minister and Shri Kellam on the judiciary of the country is without precedent. The timing of the letter, the contents of the same, the rush to spill it to the public while the matter was pending with the Chief Justice and the separate Statement read out by Shri Kellam make it manifestly clear that this was done to interfere with the course of justice and lower the authority of the court”.He stated that the complaint is a direct attack on a sitting judge, who is next in line to be the Chief Justice of India. 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.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.The Bar Council of India, Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association have passed resolutions condemning the act of the Andhra CM.The President of the SCBA, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, however, termed that the SCBA resolution “premature” and said that an enquiry was needed to find out the truthfulness of the allegations. Taking such a stand, Dave recused from the meeting of the SCBA Executive Committee which discussed the resolution.Click here to download the letter of AG Read Letter of AGSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img