New Delhi, October 11: In an unprecedented move, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde to ensure that the State’s judicial neutrality is maintained.
In a letter addressed to Chief Justice Bobde, Jagan alleged that Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana had been influencing the sittings of the High Court, including the roster of a few judges and cited instances of how matters important to the opposition Telugu Desam Party had been ‘allocated to a few judges’, along with copies of orders passed in a few matters.
He cited the recent order passed by the Chief Justice of the High Court in a writ petition No. 16468 of 2020 filed by former Advocate-General Dammalapati Srinivas, staying investigation in the FIR lodged against Srinivas and a gag order on the press, against which an SLP was preferred, The Hindu reported.
“While the Supreme Court of India has been steadfast in ensuring no prior restraint on publication by media, a gag order on the media is passed in the above WP. Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu passed an interim order on October 16, the very next day of the gag order, staying all further proceedings arising from the Cabinet sub committee report, even after being apprised that the matter is before the Union of India,” Jagan said.
Stating that the beneficiaries of both the judgments of the High Court were clearly the politicians of the TDP, Jagan said Justice Ramana was a legal adviser and additional advocate-general in the previous government of the TDP.
The Chief Minister said the State government formed a sub-committee by GO no. 1411 on June 26, 2019, to examine the allegations of unbridled corruption, ruthless exploitation of natural resources, grabbing of lands from small and marginal farmers.
After the sub-committee submitted its findings, referring to the amassing of wealth by TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and others by adopting various illegal means to the Assembly, the government forwarded the report to the Union of India urging for a CBI inquiry.
In view of the above, the Chief Minister urged the Chief Justice of India to consider initiating steps to ensure that the State’s judicial neutrality was maintained.
Adviser to the Chief Minister Ajeya Kallam told reporters on Saturday night that the State government had submitted all evidences to the Chief Justice of India pertaining to “interference by a sitting Supreme Court judge in matters dealt by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh”.
“In larger public interest and in order to put to rest the speculations in a section of media concerning these developments, the government deemed it fit to officially speak on the above to ensure the dignity of all the institutions of the State is preserved. The Government of Andhra Pradesh filed Special Leave Petitions against the orders of Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu of the High Court staying all further proceedings of Cabinet Sub-Committee and the order of Chief Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheswari staying investigation and a gag order on the reportage of FIR filed against a former A-G and family members of a sitting SC judge in what is now being referred by Amaravati Land Scam. The government has apprised the recent happenings in the High Court and in particular reference to the intervention of a sitting Supreme Court judge, Justice N.V. Ramana, in the proceedings of the High Court,’’ said Kallam.
Kallam said that the State government placed all the evidences along with a covering letter written by the Chief Minister to the Chief Justice of India on October 8.