New Delhi, October 13: An advocate has moved the Supreme Court seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for making public his “unsubstantiated allegations” against a senior judge of the court, stating that “what is at stake is the confidence which the courts in a democratic society must inspire in the public”.

The plea by Noida-based lawyer Sunil Kumar Singh referred to an October 10 press conference by Reddy’s Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam. At the event, he had released a letter written by the CM to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde alleging judicial impropriety on the part of Justice N V Ramana, who is next in line to be CJI.

The petition, moved through Advocate Mukti Singh, said Reddy “has crossed the limit which has been prescribed by the Constitution” and that what has been done is “nothing but an attempt to de-stabilise the duly established democratic setup of our country”, The Indian Express reported.

The plea said that “today criticism against the judiciary is expressed with less deference and more readiness than in the past… In the society of today, where the discussion in the media and on social media can go wild within days or within hours, it can affect the image of judiciary and hence the confidence of the general public in the judiciary.” It also questioned the timing of the allegation, calling it “highly suspicious”.

Reddy’s letter to the CJI had come at a time when a bench headed by Justice Ramana is hearing a plea seeking fast-tracking of criminal cases against sitting and former MPs and MLAs. The Andhra CM, too, is facing some cases and the proceedings in one of them had resumed in a CBI court on October 9.

The petition for fast-tracking cases was filed by Advocate Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay in 2016.

Hearing it on Monday, the bench headed by Justice Ramana sought more information from the High Courts on the number of Special Courts required for expeditious disposal of the pending criminal cases.

On Monday, the bench also asked the Centre to submit by October 19 the status of investigations by special agencies in cases against legislators.

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