The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plea filed by G. S. Mani & Anti Corruption Council of India Trust seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy for writing and publicising a letter containing allegations against senior Supreme Court judge Justice NV Ramana.
A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the petitioner has made a prayer which is a little confusing since it seeks creation of an internal committee headed by sitting or retired judges of the SC or any authority for investigating the allegations on a sitting judge of the SC.
During the hearing, petitioner GS Mani submitted serious issues have to be considered in his petition.
Justice Kaul: Serious issue is fine but look at the prayer. The problem is this that an order has been passed lifting the gag order. Why should we entertain another petition?
GS Mani requests that the matter be tagged along with that matter.
Justice Kaul: But why should we take up another matter? I’m not able to understand the prayer. You have complicated the prayer.
GS Mani: The remarks have been made in public and it is scandalising.
Justice Kaul: You have filed the petition without an application of mind.
Justice Kaul reads the prayer of another petitioner.
Petitioner says the chief minister cannot make such statements publicly.
GS Mani: Such statements are violative of Articles 121 and 124 of the Constitution of India.
Justice Kaul: We are concerned with the prayers.
Advocate Mukti Singh for another petitioner Sunil Kumar Singh submitted that such statements cannot be made.
Supreme Court: How does your prayer survive after gag order has been vacated?
Adv Mukti Singh: In EMS Namboodiripad case, it was held that Chief Ministers cannot make such statement. CM YS Jagan has a following in the state.
Justice Kaul: Do you have the number of the other matter which is pending before this court?
Adv Mukti Singh: That is a different case.
Supreme Court: Just give me the diary number. Upon hearing the counsel of Adv Mukti Singh’s matter, let the matter be tagged with the pending plea. No notice, said the Apex Court.
Adv Mukti Singh’s connected petition seeks an order from court so that YS Jaganmohan Reddy does not make such statements in the future.
The petition to restrain Andhra CM YS Jagan from passing any comment against a sitting SC judge has been tagged with another matter, already pending before a bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan.
With respect to other petition filed by the Anti Corruption Council of India Trust, bench says that the prayer is already being dealt with in another petition. So in order to prevent multiplicity of proceedings, the bench is not inclined to interfere.
The Supreme Court was hearing the bunch of petitions by G.S. Mani & Anr. against Jaganmohan Reddy after he wrote a letter to the CJI making allegations against Judges of Supreme Court and the High Court and released the contents of letter in media.
Previously on November 16, the matter was listed before the three-judge bench of Justice UU Lalit, Vineet Saran and S. Ravindra Bhat. But Justice UU Lalit recused himself from hearing the matter. He said: “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.”
Therefore, today these petitions are listed before the three-judge bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy.
The petition has been filed by GS Mani, Sunil Kumar Singh and Anti Corruption Council of India Trust to initiate Contempt of Court proceedings against the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on his scandalous remarks against the sitting judges of the Supreme Court & the High Court.
It was argued in the petitions that making allegations against sitting judges without any basis and evidence comes under Contempt of Courts Act. Sunil Kumar Singh sought directions from the court to issue show cause notice to YS Jaganmohan Reddy as to why action should not be taken against him for making baseless allegations against the Judges.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy caused a sensation in judicial circles when he wrote to the Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde, alleging improper conduct by Supreme Court judge, Justice N. V. Ramana.
Reddy has accused Justice Ramana of intervening in legal matters to protect the interests of the Telugu Desam Party and its president, and his predecessor, N. Chandrababu Naidu. His allegations are even more sensational considering that Justice Ramana is in line to become the next chief justice of India.
The letter refers to the period when Justice Ramana was a judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The chief minister’s allegations referred to land deals in the state capital Amaravati, which had come under judicial scrutiny, and claimed that Justice Ramana had interfered in these cases. The letter was made public on October 10, when the chief minister’s principal adviser Ajeya Kallam, shared it with the media, while refusing to take any questions. The letter, and additional documents, are a desperate bid to imply a connection between Justice Ramana and Naidu.