AG Declines Consent for Contempt Case Against AP CM Reddy, Aide

The AG stated this after noting that Jagan was facing criminal prosecution in 31 cases.

Published
India
3 min read
AG KK Venugopal and Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
i

The Attorney General for India, KK Venugopal, has declined consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and his principal advisor, Ajeya Kallam, for making public allegations against Justice NV Ramana, judge of the Supreme Court, reported LiveLaw.

The Attorney General stated that the conduct of CM Reddy and his advisor was “contumacious” but as the Chief Justice of India is “seized of the matter” it would not be appropriate for him to deal with the same.

Earlier, Supreme Court lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had sought AG’s consent to initiate criminal contempt against Reddy and Kallam.

Upadhyay stated that the letter sent by CM Reddy to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, making allegations against Justice Ramana and other judges, has scandalised the authority of both the Supreme Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court, reported Bar and Bench.

The AG, in his reply, stated: “I am of the opinion that the timing itself of the letter as well as it being placed in the public domain through a press conference could certainly be said to be suspect.”

Questioning the “timing of the letter”, the AG further stated: “In the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana dated 16 September 2020, directing pending prosecution of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously.”

The AG stated this after noting that Jagan was facing criminal prosecution in 31 cases.

Upadhyay, in his letter, mentioned that Reddy is himself an accused in at least 31 cases concerning the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act pending before the Special Court, situated under the jurisdiction of Telangana, reported Bar and Bench.

“However, what has to be noted is that the entire case of contempt arises out of the letter dated 06 October 2020 written by the Chief Minister directly to the Chief Justice of India and the subsequent press conference held by Kallam. The Chief Justice of India is seized of the matter. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to deal with the matter,” the AG said.

What Had Happened?

Reddy, on 6 October, wrote to Chief Justice Bobde, alleging a “nexus” between one of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, former CM Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, and judges of the AP High Court.

Alleging bias in the state judiciary towards the TDP, Reddy had asked the CJI to look into the issue, and initiate any steps required “to ensure that the State judiciary’s neutrality is maintained.”

“(Top SC judge) has been influencing the sittings of the high court including the roster of a few Honourable Judges and instances of how matters important to Telugu Desam Party have been allocated to a few Honourable Judges are enclosed in the annexure, along with the copies of the orders passed in a few matters.”
Jagan’s letter to the CJI

What Does Jagan’s Letter Say?

The eight-page letter by Reddy, which was released in a press conference by Kallam, notes that his government formed a cabinet sub-committee on 26 June 2019 to examine allegations of corruption, land-grabbing, and exploitation of natural resources against the previous TDP government in the state.

This sub-committee made certain prima facie findings of such misdeeds by Naidu and others, “including illegal transactions of purchase of considerable extent of the land” by them or their associates.

Their report was placed before the AP Legislative Assembly, which recommended a further enquiry. The report was also forwarded to the Centre asking for a CBI investigation.

In the course of the sub-committee’s enquiry and a preliminary investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Reddy claims that the daughters and associates of a senior judge of the apex court, including a former additional advocate general of the state, were found to be beneficiaries of land transactions connected to Amravati, the proposed new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench, Live Law)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!