Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy | Photo: ANI
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy | Photo: ANI
Text Size:

New Delhi: The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government’s unprecedented press conference Saturday, levelling charges of corruption and bias against sitting Supreme Court judge, Justice N.V. Ramana, and other high court judges, was a ‘deliberate attempt’ to scandalise the judiciary, say legal experts.

According to the experts, the Andhra CM’s actions amount to contempt, in the wake of the apex court verdict in the Prashant Bhushan case, in which the SC convicted the lawyer-cum-activist for contempt of court last month.

They argued that Reddy should have waited for the Chief Justice of India (CJI)’s response to his letter — sent on 6 October leveling the charges — rather than making the contents of the letter public, since he had invoked the CJI’s jurisdiction as the administrative head.

The experts further questioned the timing of the allegations.

According to them, the charges have come as Justice Ramana is heading the bench hearing a PIL to fast-track criminal cases pending against former and current lawmakers, which includes Reddy, who is facing 31 cases, of which 11 are under the lens of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


Also read: Delhi HC grants bail to Tahir Hussain aide in riots case, says witnesses ‘planted’


The letter

The unprecedented events played out late Saturday evening when Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam held a hurried press conference, revealing the letter the CM wrote to CJI S.A. Bobde.

In the letter, Reddy highlighted the alleged proximity between Justice Ramana and former Andhra CM and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, claiming that attempts are being made to destabilise his government.

“Justice Ramana’s proximity to Chandrababu Naidu is too well-known. I am making this statement with utmost responsibility… Justice Ramana has been influencing the sittings of the High Court including the roster of a few Hon’ble judges and instances of a few matters important to Telugu Desam have been allotted to a few judges,” Reddy wrote.

Along with the letter, Reddy also enclosed seven documents as proof of his allegations. One of them said there was an “identity of views expressed by Naidu and Ramana about fitness of Advocates elevated as High Court judges”. According to Reddy, Justice Ramana also played a key role in influencing judicial appointments in state courts.

Naidu and others from his previous government are facing allegations from the Reddy government over amassing huge wealth by illegal transactions of purchase of land during his tenure. The state government had requested for a CBI inquiry into the same.

Reddy’s allegations against Justice Ramana come nearly a month after the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered a gag on media reporting in the state government’s FIR into the alleged land scam, which named the judge’s kin and a former government official who worked under Naidu’s TDP regime.

In another order, the HC put on hold a report submitted by the government’s cabinet sub-committee on various acts of commission and omission of the previous Naidu government.

The letter was sent the same day as when Reddy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital.


Also read: Gauhati High Court slams Assam govt for running detention centres in jails


‘Indulging in bench-hunting’

According to Supreme Court advocate Balaji Srinivasan, the CM’s move is as an attempt to overreach “judicial proceedings”.

“The FIR is lodged when the petition is listed for passing directions to fast-track cases filed against MPs and MLAs. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister himself is facing serious charges of corruption. Therefore, the motive is glittering like gold. Now, again when the case has reached a crucial phase, this letter is written and not surprisingly released in public domain, clearly to overreach judicial proceedings,” he said.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, who is amicus curiae in the MPs/MLAs matter, said the press conference is an effort to make Justice Ramana recuse from the matter.

“This is a brazen attempt to terrorise the judiciary. When the top court is monitoring the constitution of special courts to hear cases involving MPs/MLAs, he comes up with this press conference. This is being done to undermine the institution,” Hansaria said.

Hansaria had submitted a report to the top court on 9 September on the status of pending cases against MPs/MLAs, pointing to tardy progress in over 4,000 such matters, despite SC orders to speed up the trial.

A Justice Ramana-led bench had expressed shock at the data and fixed 16 September to hear at length Hansaria’s suggestions to fast-track the decision-making process in the cases. The court then ordered all the high courts to take suo motu cognisance and monitor the progress of the cases.

A week later, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Andhra Pradesh government filed a case in the alleged land scam, naming Justice Ramana’s kin. This led to the HC gag order.

For Ashwini Upadhyaya, the petitioner in the MPs/MLAs case, Reddy has resorted to pressure tactics to delay the decision in his own matters.

“It is unethical for him to write such a letter and then release it to the media. Now that Justice Ramana has put the system in place, he (Jagan) is indulging in bench-hunting because he wants the judge to stop hearing the case,” he said.


Also read: SC pulls up govt for ‘evasive’ affidavit on Tablighi event, says it makes ‘nonsensical’ claims


‘CJI is the appropriate authority to complain’

In releasing the contents of the letter to the CJI, the Andhra Pradesh government has also violated the Supreme Court verdict in Prashant Bhushan case.

“In a sub judice matter, releasing such statement to the press in advance is an act of impropriety and has the effect of interfering with the judicial process and the fair decision making and is clearly an attempt to coerce the decision of the Court by the influence of newspaper and media, which cannot be said to be conducive for the fair administration of justice and would further tantamount to undue interference in the independent judicial making process which is the very foundation of institution of administration of justice,” a bench led by Justice Arun Mishra (retired) had said in the case.

“Propriety demanded the Chief Minister should have waited for the CJI’s response and not jumped to make the allegations public. The CJI is the appropriate authority, the one who can order an in-house enquiry,” senior advocate Arvind Dattar told ThePrint.

“Blatant attack on judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court is unwarranted. If the government is aggrieved by judicial orders passed, legal remedies are available to it. That should have been resorted to. I hope senior advocates of the Supreme Court take note of this and reconsider their decision to appear for Andhra Pradesh government,” Srinivasan said.

According to Hansaria, the state government’s action was totally uncalled for, especially since it had already written to the CJI. “Once you repose trust in the head of the institution, you should wait for a response,” he said.


Also read: Authorities failed in Shaheen Bagh, protests should not obstruct public spaces, SC says


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

VIEW COMMENTS

29 COMMENTS

  1. This is a shit article with full of myths and false allegations. The title itself demeaning the pride of Journalism.

    The print is nothing but a tissue paper from Italy demon’s toilet. Congress party is depend on the money supplies from DK Shivakumar and Chandrababu Naidu.

    Congress is afraid of deeper investigation as their involvement will come out in many false cases they floated through the bad elements in judiciary. Case on Mr.Jagan Mohan Reddy is one such example.

    • Japan’s bhakt, Good job for your master, your devotion should continue like this. You are on your way to become a successful devotee.

  2. Shut up bhadrika and rishika.
    Your cheap journalism supporting Sonia Gandhi is expected from you as people say she finances your portal.
    You don’t know anything about Andhra politics.

    One dalit high court Justice B.N. swamy made serious allegations when S.V. ramana, was junior and How ramana used to act as a broker of deals between naidu and judges enticing them with various offers.

    The number of verdicts against jagan and stays in favour of naidu always made people believe something is wrong and it is well known in legal circles what are the credentials, achievements of ramana.

    Anyway an inconsequential paper like the print is not known to anybody in andhra.
    But to make things clear to whatever few readers you have I am writing this.

    Finally I hope The Print is making enough money to pay salaries to people like you.or is it dependent on shady political masters funding.

    I strongly believe the print does not make enough money so it hires idiotic journalists like you at cheap salaries

  3. Jagan is the cheif minister of AP state and he is voted into power by the people…it is his responsibility to see actually what has happened at Amarawati the supposed new capital…bcos the previous govt acquired 33000 acres of delta farm land for construction of new city….when the current Jagan went thru the deals conducted by previous govt it was observed by present govt the actual construction work of new city is nothing but a DHL copy print type of Real estate business by few business men ( many r previous govt legislatures…kith and kin…friends….and many govt officials which included judges)….when Jagan went to court to start a CBI inquiry on the capital city land deals the previous AG went to AP highcourt a day earlier and got a Stay order and in addition a GAg order on the complaint…..if a person did not make a mistake then he should clear his name from courts but instead getting a stay and gag order seems fishy……
    Jagan as CM saw this as a firewall bcos he is unable to get things done in his state and hence as a last resort complained to CJI……..Note….while the judge named in complaint is Mr Ramana…….please review late Mr Ram jethmalani comments on Ramana appt as a supreme court judge…..
    On a complaint by an elected leader if any one did not make any mistake they should come out clean and prove themselves as innocent and later can take action on the elected leader who made the complaint…..but instead getting stays …gag orders r nothing but seems evasive and looks more dirt had to be cleaned rather than taking advantage of immunity
    A.ka ….judges cannot be prosecuted as similar to diplomatic immunity……everyone should come out clean including Jagan a.p cm on this issue …otherwise common man will loose hope on courts judgements…

  4. The print is no more a neutral media, have to read its future articles with caution ( like any other news media in india).

  5. Connecting dots…

    Justice Ramana asks to expedite cases on elected representatives when he recently got to hear a 1983 case which was pending until now. High courts took that task up and started to prioritize.

    Jagan who himself is accused in 16 charges of quid pro quo and corruption and spent 16 months in jail. Even after he became CM he went to court for hearing and later took exception for his personal appearance citing CM role and time.
    In next 6 months NV Ramana will be CJI after Bobde. He will stay as CJI for an year or so. Due to which the next CJI (allegedly pro AS) will only have 3 months as CJI before he retires.

    Jagan meets PM and HM with a representation letter against NV Ramana. His letter is full of citations of a Telugu daily Sakshi, which is in turn owned by Jagan himself. Sakshi is known to be full of concocted stories against whoever seem to be threat to Jagan. After he came to power the majority of govt ads are spent for Sakshi than the largest circulated dailies.

    He wanted to tame the Judiciary to control due to his own personal reasons. In case he goes to jail he wants to discredit Judiciary and he’s preparing ground for that. It seems his idea of mudslinging on NV Ramana is approved on sidelines by PM/HM as they have a side benefit for their Man to be CJI for longer duration.

    Btw, Jagan is helped by the exJustice Jasti Chelameswar.. he was seen with Jagan aides at various occasions like book launch etc.. his son, who I was said to be an advisor to AP GOVT, is part of delegation which met HM/PM.

    This carefully orchestrated campaign is first broke by NDTV. The same NDTV is partner with Sakshi for content sharing. The same NDTV got AP govt permission to do a documentary on AP GOVT education Dept achievements of course who would do it free, public money. NDTV is also known to be pro-Jagan due to its relation with Jagans own newspaper and recent priority to it in new govt..

  6. What the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has done is legally correct, The AP CM is elected by the people to give good governance with welfare measures for the progress and development of the marginalized, The Chief Minister is answerable to the People who elected him, every people’s welfare policy is thwarted by approaching the Hon’ble Courts, there is lot of disillusionment among people and amazed at the adverse orders pronounced by the Hon’ble Courts, the governance takes a beating, welfare policies are delayed, time is running out for the government to implement the Manifesto, since the Government is elected for five years, much time is wasted government fighting court cases day in and out. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Supreme Court must bring in judicial reforms to address the present turmoil.

  7. if removal of paints from public offices is an anti judgement ? if unconstituitional removal of election commissioner is correct? if occupying mangroves,dkt,assigned lands is good ?
    then all the judgements upholded the law.
    jagan is another thief who is accusing judges of corruption,is a seriously dealt with constituitional remedies of presidents rule,his administration is pathetic only indulging in christianisation and anti country works

    • Stays on cases against Chandra Babu and his benamis, CBI enquiry on petty mad Doctor, CBI enquiry on Covid lockdown violators. BUT NO CBI case on Amaravathi land scam. Unwarranted comments passed by Judges on bench but not including them in the judgement……..list goes on……

  8. Not a frequent reader of The Print and being telugaitte, was curious to know, how the national media is looking into the matter (AP CM letter to CJI), and to conclude on the article in one liner keeping aside the points mentioned below, this is a completely biased order, even more looks like its a paid one. Couple of points to note:
    No doubt, Mr. Jagan would have waited till CJI to respond ( agree with you)
    Terrorising judiciary, bench-hunting – Have ever read the orders passed by High Court of AP ?
    Fast track processing the criminal cases – This has no relevance, just because, criminal cases have been looked into on faster mode, you dont have to wait to lodge a complaint, assume if the CM has intention to deviate the cases, at the end he has no right to choose the judge who looks after case , is it that you are claiming judiciary system is corrupt except Mr. Ramana.

    Though i was a natural reader and had good opinion on the print, may be i have to look after articles from now on (looks you are no different than other media)

  9. This article is a bad interpretation to the news event. Ground realities are different. Don’t compare Jahan’s letter against Supreme court judge Ramana with the cases against Jagan pending in the Supreme court. Both cases are different and treat them as such. Chandra Babu did real estate business on the pretext of building new capital for Andhra Pradesh.

  10. this article just came out of l its head office, NTR trust bhavan in telangana. what a calum , i dont think this is written by Lokesh, i dont think he has command in either telugu or english. who wrote this news??

    • A Stanford graduate can not speak telugu and english but a street smart person can do better. You are really great sir.

  11. This is completely biased article. Come to Andhra Pradesh and check with people who are not politically biased to verify the brazen and unfair judgements by a section of AP high court judges. Check retired justice of supreme court Jasti Chalameshwar complaint on NV Ramana and Chandra Babus nexus on few nominees for judge positions of high court.

    • How many were quashed by high court. Let us assume 100. Then out of 100 how many were challenged in supreme court and and what happened there? Above all in 1 year jagan government took only 100 decisions what? May have taken thousands and only 100 were challenged. It happens to all governments. This kind of letter might not have been addressed by any chief minister till date and got it released to press. Really bad.

      • Not many quashed by high court. CBI enquiries on petty cases like mental doctor, Corona lockdown violators, on persons who speak against judiciary in social media, unwarantted and brazen comments being passed on Govt and DGP on petty issues.

        BUT NO CBI cases on
        Amaravathi land scam…….everyone gets stay…..and bonus GAG order on FIR details not be reported…..
        Dr Ramesh hospital fire accident…11 patients died….complete STAY……but LG Polymers…arrested directors….
        Govt CIT and CBI enquiry request to Central Govt all cancelled by High court….
        No enquiry on Fiber Grid scam…where CBN’s son Lokesh is behind this scam…
        and finally
        Chandra Babu Naidu’s case stays secured in around 20 cases for the last 15 years is worth to be noted in Guinness Book.

  12. Andhra Pradesh CM in a letter to CJI alleges makes allegations against SC Judge , Justice N V Ramana.
    News media in India has brought out on 10 October and 11 October in 2020 , the substance of a letter said to have been written by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Reddy to Chief Justice of India , through which the former has made allegations against sitting Judge , Justice N. V. Ramana – next in line to be the CJI. One of the allegations reported in the news is that Justice Ramana has been influencing the sittings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court including the roster of a few Honourable Judges. The letter having allegations is said to be eight-page. Justice Ramana is said to have responded by saying that Judges are victims of gossip.
    In this context , it may be apt to refer readers to this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive article “ India in the year 2021 – planetary impacts interpreted : kushal kumar” , published at theindiapost.com on 7 September , 2020. The article has also covered last four months of the year 2020 from September to December , besides the coming year 2021 in full. One of the predictions reads as follows in the said predictive article :-
    “ The period between 10 October to 13 November in 2020 is also the one when some powerful or rich organizations or personalities associated therewith in one or more fields such as social , spiritual , political in the country can be in news or focus. Some controversial law can engage attention. Concerns of judiciary can engage the attention of the nation”.

    https://www.theindiapost.com/articles/india-in-the-year-2021-planetary-impacts-interpreted-kushal-kumar/judiciary can engage the attention of the nation”.

    It seems this writer’s prediction has been meaningfully accurate , besides to the point.

  13. This is one sided article… Though he should not have made the letter public, but the allegations made by him has substance and shows political influence and favouritism of AP judges. This whole aspect is centered around cast and regional politics centered around Amaravati. The ill conceived idea of making Amaravati which is on flood plain of krishna river is seen many as vote bank politics of TDP and also alleged insider trading. Another aspect is concerted effort of majority of pro TDP news papers to indulge in mud slinging on Jgan rule to help TDP especially EENADU and Andhra Jyothi us playing role in favor of TDP. Three capital concept of Jagan was accepted widely by people of access the state but only people of Amaravati and vijayawada oposing for their vested political and financial interests.

  14. The article clearly lacks understanding of reality. It’s true that Andhra CM Jaganmohan Reddy is facing cases. That does not mean his allegations are false. I have deeper understanding of social, political dynamics of the state being from AP and having been following politics of AP from childhood . Chandrababu Naidu is the most manipulative , unethical , corrupt politician in India. SC judge and most of the judges of High Court on whom judicial impropriety or biased ness are alleged have become judges with Naidu influence and management. The Nexus of these people is deep rooted and nothing new. To understand better , one has to study SC Judge career and circumstances of his appointment. Without knowing full background and presenting both sides , please do not degrade the quality of journalism.

  15. This is the style followed by Jagan Mohan Reddy and their social media to paint dirty colors on all constitutional bodies just to escape from their heinous economic offenses. Sandalwood smuggler like Veerappan is 1000 times honest than these guys. Now you can understand the true colors of such anti democratic goons.i personally can say that judiciary is doing 100% justice in takling these criminal minded ways.

  16. Mr. Jagan, being a Christian, was elected as the CM of Andhra Pradesh, a predominantly Hindu state. Whereas, in none of our north-eastern states which have Christian majority,has a Hindu ever been elected as the CM.
    Speaks volumes about who is secular and who is not.

  17. I am a big fan of The Print as I have seen some excellent and high quality content especially in the past one year. I also frequently share the content with many of may friends and colleagues.

    However, I am disappointed by the contents of this analysis in The Print which is establishing high standards in journalistic reporting. The analysis is one-sided and is not giving the correct picture to the neutral readers of The Print.

    Many citizens like me who have no allegiance or bias to any political party feel that the judges in the AP High Court are not dealing with the cases related to Amaravati Land Scam fairly and have been making unwanted and unwarranted oral comments’ that are not part of the judgements. Some of the large Media groups in Andhra Pradesh who are more less extended unofficial channels of Telugu Desam Party take advantage of these comments and have been misleading people who watch them or read them newspapers. This is spreading a lot of misinformation among a section of society. The Government cannot do anything as they cannot file any counter affidavit in the superior court while these comments are used by the Media of the opposition party to malign the Govt.

    The intentions of the judges becomes questionable if you look at the way they are stopping even enquiries into scams. especially considering their previous associations with the political parties. Why do you not mention that the SC Judge who has initiated a fast tracking of cases against Politicians has a conflict of interest with Amaravati Land Scam investigations as two of his daughters procured lands there just before the Capital Location was announced publicly. There are many such incidents that require closer scrutiny by the national media.

    Let us not paint only one party as corrupt. While Jagan may have been involved in corrupt cases, we should also note that Chandra Babu Naidu has created scams not only in Amaravati, but also in and around Hyderabad. Ask any Senior Journalist of the Telugu Speaking States, they can give many accounts of it. Unfortunately none of 20+ cases filed against him have progressed beyond the initial stage.

    Please understand that I am not commenting that the authors of this article are biased, but I want to see more detailed analysis on both sides with more ground work within the state of AP.

  18. I used to read/ listen to Print video’s due to neutral/critical content. But I am disappointed with this article, It is completely biased and one sided presentation. Not done any homework on before coming to conclusion. It is the time to be scrutinize Judiciary process, we used see landmark judgements but witnessing something different. I prefer good reforms in all areas including Judiciary.

Comments are closed.