AG Refuses to Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against AP CM Reddy

CM Reddy wrote to CJI Bobde, alleging a “nexus” between one of the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

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Politics
2 min read
AG KK Venugopal and Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
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Attorney General KK Venugopal, for the second time, declined to give consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for his letter on 6 October to the Chief Justice of India, containing allegations against Supreme Court judge Justice NV Ramana.

BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay had urged the AG to grant permission to initiate contempt proceedings against Reddy and his principal advisor, Ajeya Kallam.

On Saturday, 7 November, AG Venugopala reiterated his stand and said that the issue of contempt was between CJI SA Bobde and CM Reddy and his principal advisor.

“My refusal to grant consent does not preclude you from bringing these facts to the notice of Supreme Court judges with a prayer for initiation of contempt proceedings. You may exercise this right by either way of information placed on the administrative side or by bringing it to the attention of the court during the hearing of WP (C) 699/2016 where you are already the petitioner in person,” AG said in a fresh letter to Upadhyay, reported Bar and Bench.

On 5 November, Upadhyay had urged AG Venugopal to relook on the decision and said, "I humbly request you to peruse these points (particularly the fact that the question of contempt is not pending anywhere else) and kindly reconsider the granting of consent to my request,” New Indian Express reported.

On 2 November, 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.

Upadhyay in his letter had stated that the letter sent by CM Reddy to CJI 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.

What Does CM Reddy’s Letter Say?

CM 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

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.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench, New Indian Express, Hindu)

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