Justice UU Lalit has recused himself from hearing a plea seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jaganmohan Reddy for raising allegations against Supreme Court judge, Justice NV Ramana.
The plea came up before a Bench which also comprised Justices Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat, when Justice Lalit remarked:
“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.”
The court was hearing three separate petitions seeking inquiry and action against the Chief MinisterYS Jaganmohan Reddy for his ‘scandalizing’ remarks against the second senior-most judge of the top court, Justice NV Ramana.
The petitioners, who are three advocates GS Mani, Pradeep Kumar Yadav and Sunil Kumar Singh and NGO Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust have submitted that the allegations levelled by Reddy against Justice Ramana are baseless. They have also highlighted that Reddy is facing over 20 criminal cases.
Petitioners have 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, into the allegations raised by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Advocate Sunil Kumar Singh, in his petition, has asked the top court to issue a show cause to YS Jaganmohan Reddy after his government’s official made public a letter written by Reddy to the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde on October 6 making certain allegations against Justice Ramana.
Reddy, in his letter, had alleged that Justice Ramana had been influencing the judicial affairs at Andhra Pradesh High Court including calling the shots on roster of certain High Court judges.
It was also alleged that cases important to the opposition Telugu Desam Party were “allocated to a few judges”.
“By the conduct of Reddy, the faith of public at large is shaken. Because his conduct is nothing but an attempt to de-stabilise the duly established democratic setup of our country,” Singh’s petition in Supreme Court states.
He has 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, the plea added.