‘Overawing the Judiciary’? – The Conflict between Andhra Pradesh CM & Justice Ramana

        Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy on an 8-page letter sent to CJI SA Bobde on October 6, which he released to the press four days later i.e. on 10th October became the first time in the republic’s history that a Chief Minister has formally accused a sitting member of the higher judiciary of political bias and even corruption.

  • Justice NV Ramana (the judge who is due to become the next Chief Justice of India) is trying to influence the High Courts due to his proximity with former CM Chandrababu Naidu,
  • the august institution of the High Court is being used to destabilize and topple the democratically elected Government of the State of A.P. with an indelible trail leading back to the overt and covert actions of Sri N. Chandrababu Naidu through Honourable Sri Justice N. V. Ramana
  • has accused Justice NV Ramana of being biased towards TDP and claimed that attempts are being made to topple his government. Two of the specific examples raised by him of this are the stay orders on the investigation of the FIRs into the purchase of land in Amravati (along with an accompanying media gag order) and on the proceedings of a state cabinet sub-committee, which had been looking into actions of the TDP government.
  • accused him of influencing the sittings of the High Court in a way that matters important to Telegu Desam Party are allocated to a few Honourable judges.
  • alleged that Justice Ramana helped the Naidu regime handpick six out of an eleven-member panel of members from the high court bar and promoted them as acting judges.
  • the chief minister alleged that Justice Ramana had used his influence with the erstwhile N. Chandra Babu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government in the state to favour his daughters.
  • that Sri Justice N. V. Ramana has started influencing the course of administration of justice in the State, through the Chief Justice Sri Jitendra Kumar Maheswari.

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12th October – Bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar and Justice J. Uma Devi of the Andhra Pradesh High Court ordered CBI Inquiry into cases registered for defamatory remarks against Judiciary by YSRCP leader while expressing displeasure over the investigation by the State CID. It stated as “In a Democratic State, if such war is initiated against the judicial system by persons holding high positions, certainly it will create unnecessary doubt in the mind of the citizens against the judicial system, which may cripple the entire system.”

Since then several questions have been raised about the functioning of the court in question, and the legality of the letter issued by Jaganmohan Reddy. And similarly, several boards have come forward in response to it.

  • The DHCBA unequivocally, categorically, and in strongest possible terms, condemns the allegations cast upon Justice NV Ramana’, and the act of both writing and circulating such a letter in the media is an act of ‘overawing the judiciary’, which amounts to the contempt of the Supreme Court.
  • The SCAORA condemns the act of the unwarranted release of the said letter on 10.10.2020 in a press conference, to be lacking in propriety and not in accord with the High Office of the Constitutional functionary involved, as it tends to scandalise and breach the independence of the judiciary”.
  • The plea has been moved to the SC by two advocates for falsely accusing second-senior most Judge of the Court, Justice NV Ramana, and for disturbing the judicial independence by making false allegations against a sitting judge and sought the issuance of a writ of Quo Warranto.

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