Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde alleging his immediate predecessor Justice N V Ramana of “influencing the sittings of the (Andhra Pradesh) High Court including the roster of a few Honourable Judges.”
CM has also referred, in his eight-page letter, to TDP leader and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, and an Anti-Corruption Bureau investigation into “questionable transactions of land” involving two daughters of Justice Ramana and others in Amaravati, before it was declared the site for the new capital of the state.
The letter was dated October 6, and was released to the media in Hyderabad on Saturday evening by Ajeya Kallam, Principal Advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
The letter gives examples of what the state government has called “judicial impropriety” including a gag order on media reporting, stopping of investigation in a case involving alleged land deals in which a former advocate general and daughter of the supreme court judge are accused of wrong-doing.
Last month, while speaking at the launch of a book by former Supreme Court judge Justice R Banumathi, Justice Ramana had said, “As judges are self-restrained from speaking out in their own defence, they are now being construed as soft targets for criticism. This issue is further complicated by the proliferation of social media and technology, wherein judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social-media posts.”
In the letter, Chief Minister has mentioned “instances of how matters important to Telugu Desam Party have been allocated to a few Honourable Judges, and has detailed this in an annexure.”
In the letter, CM has asked the Chief Justice of India to “consider initiating such steps as may be considered fit and proper to ensure that the state judiciary’s neutrality is maintained”.