By LE Desk

Amravati, June 24, 2021: The Andhra Pradesh High Court took suo moto cognizance of withdrawal of various criminal cases against Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy after he assumed power. 

The state government, however, contended that the process now initiated was contrary to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Court Registry filed on its own 11 criminal revision cases against as many orders passed by magistrates of different courts across the state permitting withdrawal of the criminal cases against Jagan. Justice Lalitha Kanneganti took up the hearing on Wednesday, reported news agency PTI.

Advocate General Sriram Subramaniam presented his arguments on behalf of the state government and the case was adjourned to Friday.

The cases filed against Jagan, when he was Leader of Opposition, included charges like mischief, causing loss or damage through mischief, offence in a place of worship, obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties, armed rioting and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Law Amendment Act.

“It is unprecedented that the High Court on the administrative side has taken a decision to seek a suo moto revision of the matter.The reference by the Registrar, Judicial, appears to be the note prepared by the High Court on the administrative side. This is impermissible,” the Advocate General argued, reported PTI. “For correction of judicial orders passed by the lower courts, the course to be taken is essentially judicial,” he added.

The AG read out an order passed by Justice Rakesh Kumar, in December last, wherein he referred to all the cases that were withdrawn (against the Chief Minister).

“Justice Rakesh Kumar stated that he believed the police were acting as per the dictates of the state and not upholding the rule of law. Since the Supreme Court has stayed the operation of the judgment of the High Court, relying on the same material on the administrative side in these matters would be in the teeth of the Supreme Court order,” Subramaniam observed.

The AG said it was impermissible for the High Court to take up a suo moto (on its own accord) exercise on the administrative side.

“If a decision has already been taken by the High Court on the administrative exercise, then the papers being placed before the court now would be only to secure judicial approval of a decision taken,” he added.

“These proceedings now initiated are patently contrary to the provisions of the CrPC,” Subramaniam contended.

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