The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a slew of public interest litigation (PIL) petitions seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for his remarks against Supreme Court judge, Justice NV Ramana.
However, one petition filed by Advocate Sunil Kumar Singh was tagged with the pending appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government in relation to the matter.
Singh’s plea sought directions to restrain Reddy from making such public statements about the Supreme Court or its judges.
Singh has claimed that such statements are in violation of Article 121 of the Constitution, which prohibits any discussion in Parliament with respect to the conduct of a Supreme Court or High Court judge.
Advocate Mukti Singh, who was representing Sunil Kumar Singh today, submitted.
“In EMS Namboodripad case, it was held that Chief Ministers cannot make such statement. The CM has a following in the State.”
After hearing the counsel for the petitioners, the Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said,
“Let the matter be tagged with the pending plea. No notice”
The rest of the petitions seeking a probe into Reddy’s conduct as well as his removal from the post of Chief Minister, were dismissed.
“You pick up something from the newspaper and file whatever you want. This is not how this is done. If 100 people want to assist, then how can we allow 100 people to intervene? This will become an endless exercise,” the Bench remarked.
The Bench was hearing three separate petitions seeking inquiry and action against the Chief Minister for his ‘scandalizing’ remarks against the second senior-most judge of the top court, Justice NV Ramana.
The petitioners – Advocates GS Mani, Pradeep Kumar Yadav and Sunil Kumar Singh, and NGO Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust – had submitted that the allegations levelled by Reddy against Justice Ramana are baseless. They also highlighted that Reddy is facing over 20 criminal cases.
Mani, Yadav, and the NGO sought a judicial inquiry by an internal committee headed by sitting or retired judges of the Supreme Court or any authority including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), into the allegations raised by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
The petitioners have contended that “the act of Reddy calls for immediate action from this court to tackle this unprecedented situation.”
Guidelines may be framed to tackle and handle such irresponsible activities, one of the plea said.
Reddy had sent a letter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on October 6, making certain allegations against Justice Ramana.
He claimed that Justice Ramana had been influencing the judicial affairs at the Andhra Pradesh High Court and calling the shots on the roster of certain High Court judges.
It was also alleged in the said letter that cases important to the opposition Telugu Desam Party were being “allocated to a few judges”.
On the last date of hearing, Justice UU Lalit chose to recuse from the matter.
“As a lawyer, I had represented these parties in litigation. I cannot take up this matter. Let this matter be listed at the earliest before any other judge decided by the CJI”, he had said.
Attorney General KK Venugopal had earlier refused to reconsider his decision to deny consent for contempt proceedings against Reddy and his principal advisor Ajeya Kallam, who had made the contentious letter to CJI Bobde public.
The request for the AG’s consent was raised by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay on November 5.
Venugopal had said that the CJI was aware of the matter and it would, therefore, be inappropriate for him to give consent and “preclude the determination of the Chief Justice of India on the matter”.