Attorney General declines consent for contempt proceedings against AP CM

South India

While declining consent, the AG said that the letter containing the allegations and its subsequent public release was “certainly said to be suspect”.

Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal on Monday, November 2, declined his consent to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and his Prinicipal Advisor Ajeya Kallam for making "wild and reckless" allegations against Justice NV Ramana, the second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court.

Consent was sought by advocate Ashwini Upadhyaya based on a letter the chief minister wrote to Chief Justice of India. While declining consent, the AG said that the letter containing the allegations and its subsequent public release was “certainly said to be suspect”.

Specifying the ground for rejection of consent, AG Venugopal in a letter to Upadhyaya said though he was of the firm view that conduct of both Reddy and Kellam was "prima-facie contumacious", he did not want to deal with the matter as the CJI Bobde was already seized of the issue.

Venugopal said Reddy’s letter on October 6 and its release by Kallam at a press conference held on October 10 was ‘suspect’ because they came “in the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana dated September 16, directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously,” said a report in the Hindu.

In this context, the Attorney-General referred to Upadhyay’s statement that Reddy had 31 criminal cases against him. “In this background, prima facie, the conduct of the said persons is contumacious,” Mr. Venugopal said.

The top law officer said Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde was already “seized of the matter”. He pointed out that the letter was sent to the CJI directly and, therefore, the latter was “well aware of the nature of the allegations containe

Upadhyaya is the lawyer on whose PIL the Supreme Court fast-tracked trials against present and ex-lawmakers, public representatives and sought their completion within one year, said a Times Now report.

Incidentally CM Reddy will be one of the accused affected by Justice Ramana-led bench’s directions to complete trials against public representatives including MPs, MLAs within a year. Upadhyaya has also sought criminal contempt proceedings against Reddy’s principal advisor Ajeya Kellam for his press conference airing the allegations soon after the CM’s letter to CJI.

Sources close to Justice Ramana has already rubbished all allegations and said: "Judges cannot work in such an atmosphere where tactics of intimidation is adopted by people". The Bar Council Of India, Supreme Court Bar Association, SC Advocate on Records Association have already condemned AP CM Reddy’s act of writing to CJI levelling several wild allegations against Justice Ramana.

Image Credit: The New Indian Express

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