AP HC Under Attack From State Govt, Judge Criticises CM Jagan
The AP HC expressed dissatisfaction at the SC Collegium over the sudden transfer of AP High Court Chief Justice.
Justice Rakesh Kumar of the Andhra Pradesh High Court has criticised Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government for undermining the High Court’s jurisdiction and exerting influence over it.
As the HC rejected an application moved by the state government that sought Justice Kumar’s refusal from hearing a case, he went on to say that the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was ‘under attack from persons in power’, Live Law reported.
In an order quoted by Live Law, he observed: “To some extent after getting success in overreaching and undermining two Constitutional Bodies, i.e., the Legislative Council and the State Election Commission, it was the turn of the highest Court in the State of Andhra Pradesh, i.e., High Court of Andhra Pradesh.”
The judge cited the abuse on social media against the HC judges, propagated by members of the ruling party upon any adverse orders against the government. The High Court has also initiated contempt proceedings with respect to these posts and has ordered a CBI inquiry against Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) members for such defamatory posts, Live Law reported.
The order also noted, "in the present situation, which is prevailing in the State of Andhra Pradesh, with heavy heart, I may not refrain to record that protection of fundamental rights of citizens of the State of Andhra Pradesh by this Court has become very difficult.”
Justice Rakesh Kumar was the head of the bench seeking to examine if there was a 'breakdown of constitutional machinery' in the state of AP, Live Law reported.
As a consequence, the state government had filed an application seeking recall of the order but the bench rejected it.
The proceedings in that case have been stayed by the Supreme Court on an appeal made by the state government.
Transfer of AP High Court Chief Justice
The Andhra Pradesh High Court also expressed dissatisfaction at the Supreme Court Collegium for sudden transfer of AP High Court Chief Justice.
Justice Rakesh Kumar was transferred from Patna High Court to Andhra Pradesh High Court last year, Live Law noted.
Justice Kumar has also noted the 30 criminal cases pending against Jagan Reddy in an order, many of which the police had closed citing lack of evidence. This showed "how head of the Police, i.e., the Director General of Police, Government of Andhra Pradesh, is functioning as per the dictate of the Government, not in upholding rule of law in the State" the judge said.
“AP CM sent an unceremonious letter to CJI and with the Collegium transferring AP and Telanagana High Court CJs, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy got what he wanted” the High Court has said.
The court has asked the Collegium to be more transparent, stating High Court judges are also constitutional functionaries.
(With inputs from Live Law.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.