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Year after accusing Ramana of ‘destabilising govt’, Jagan Reddy hosts CJI for tea in Vijaywada

In October last year, Reddy had written to then CJI S.A. Bobde, accusing Ramana of influencing sittings of Andhra HC, including the judges' roster. Allegations were later dismissed by SC.

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Hyderabad: A year after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy accused Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana (then a Supreme Court judge) of “destabilising his government”, the two met for a “high tea” hosted by the CM Saturday, during the latter’s visit to his home state. This is the first time the CM has met Ramana since he became CJI.

The event took place at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation (IGMC) Stadium in Vijayawada, and was described by the CM’s team as a “constitutional duty”. Sources in the government told ThePrint, however, that the Andhra CM and his wife Y.S. Bharati, also met the CJI at his hotel earlier in the day.

In October last year, Reddy had written to the then CJI S.A. Bobde, accusing Ramana of being close to former CM Chandrababu Naidu and therefore influencing the sittings of the Andhra High Court, including the roster of a few HC judges. He also alleged that cases involving members of the Telugu Desam Party had been allotted to some judges to influence the judgment.

The Supreme Court in March this year, however, dismissed Jagan’s complaints against Ramana, saying an in-house investigation had been conducted into the allegations. The dismissal came hours after CJI Bobde recommended Ramana as his successor.

Also read: Jagan govt withdraws laws aiming to set up 3 Andhra capitals, promises ‘better’ version 

‘Tea on behalf of Andhra government’

On Saturday, a source in the CM’s office explained the “high tea” as “more like a constitutional duty and nothing more”.

He added: “The CJI is visiting Vijayawada for the first time and as a Chief Minister he met him. This high tea was on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh government. There is nothing more to this. It is probably on a slightly large scale because he (the CJI) hails from here.”

As part of the event, the CM introduced Ramana to his Cabinet. The Chief Justices of both the Andhra and Telangana High Courts and a few judges from these courts also attended.

“There won’t be any major discussion. Just exchanging congratulatory greetings, in general talking about Courts,” the source said.

Ramana is on a short visit to Andhra. On Friday, the CJI and his wife, Shivamala, visited his native village Ponnavaram, in Veerulapadu Mandal, Krishna district. The “son of the soil” enjoyed a bullock cart ride to the village and received a grand welcome from locals, many of whom showered the couple with flower petals.

The CJI had visited Andhra in June, soon after taking over the post of the CJI in April but had not met the CM then, since Jagan Reddy was in Delhi at the time. The CJI had at the time visited the famous Tirumala temple, where he had been welcomed by two local MLAs and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Chairperson Y.V. Subba Reddy — also a member of the ruling YSRCP.

Ramana had first made a stop in Hyderabad back then, where he had been given a royal welcome by CM K. Chandrashekar Rao and ministers of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) party.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Andhra builders up in arms after Jagan govt orders them to hand over 5% land for public housing


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