Monday, December 4, 2023

AG KK Venugopal refuses to reconsider his decision of not allowing contempt case, says it is between CJI and Andhra CM

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New Delhi (ILNS): In a setback to BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, Attorney General KK Venugopal has refused to reconsider his decision to not to give consent to his move for the initiating of contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and his principal advisor for levelling accusation against a Supreme Court judge.

In response to Upadhyay’s letter requesting reconsideration, Venugopal reiterated his stand that the issue of contempt is a matter between Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and Andhra CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy and his principal advisor.

Venugopal also said on November 7, the lawyer was not prevented from raising the issue of contempt himself before the Supreme Court or during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by him, or by the judges of the apex court, urging a life ban on the convicted public representatives.

Upadhyay had on November 5, requested Venugopal to reconsider his decision and had said: “I humbly request you to look into these points (especially the fact that the contempt question is not pending anywhere) and please grant approval to my reconsideration request.

“It is a matter of great importance at a time when the judiciary is under attack and there is a need to take a tough stance by those who are part of an institution,” he said.

In his reply on November 7, Venugopal cited his earlier reply, stating,

“There is a point of alleged contempt in the contents of the letter written by YS Jaganmohan Reddy to the CJI, and thus the Supreme Court is free to take suo motu cognizance of contempt as per the rules of the Contempt of Court Act and the rules made thereunder.”

He said that the matter is related to the CJI and it would not be appropriate for him to approve and interfere with the Chief Justice’s interpretation of the case.

Venugopal said:

“You are well aware that the contempt case is between the court and the contemptor and no person can insist on initiating contempt proceedings.”

In an unexpected move, the Andhra CM wrote a letter to the CJI on October 6 alleging that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used to “destabilize and topple my democratically elected government”.

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Upadhyay had sought approval to initiate contempt proceedings against the CM and his advisor Kollam, however, on November 2, Venugopal declined Upadhyay the permission to initiate contempt against them. Though, Venugopal had admitted that Reddy and Kollam’s behavior towards accusing the judiciary seems disobedient at first sight.

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