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Attorney General denies consent to contempt petition against Andhra CM, calls it contumacious act

New Delhi (ILNS): Attorney General KK Venugopal today denied consent to a contempt petition against Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy for writing a letter addressed to Chief Justice S. A. Bobde levelling serious allegations against a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice N. V. Ramana.

The consent was sought on a criminal contempt petition filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against CM Jagan and his principal advisor Ajay Kellam, who made the letter public at a press conference. 

Though the AG denied consent to initiate contempt proceedings, he condemned the act as “prima facie contumacious”

Giving reasons for his denial of consent Venugopal in his reply to Upadhyay has stated: “I am of the opinion that the timing of the letter, as well as it’s being placed in the public domain through a press conference could certainly be said to be suspect in the background of the order passed by Justice Ramana dated 16.09.2020 directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously. As you yourself have pointed out, there are 31 cases pending against the chief minister. 

“In this background, prima facie the conduct of said persons is contumacious. However, what has to be noted is the entire case of contempt arises out of the letter dated 6.10.2020 written by Chief Minister directly to the Chief Justice and subsequent press conference held by Kallam.

“The Chief Justice is therefore seized of the matter. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to deal with the matter. For these reasons, I decline consent to initiate proceedings for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court of India.”

In his letter addressed to the AG KK Venugopal, Advocate Upadhyay had said:

“These actions scandalize the authority of the Supreme Court and the High Court as well as interfering with the course of judicial proceedings and the administration of justice. Even worse, if this kind of precedent were allowed, political leaders would start making reckless allegations against judges who do not decide cases in their favour and this trend would soon spell the death knell of an independent judiciary.”

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Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is facing multiple cases of corruption, had written to the CJI on October 6 alleging that Justice Ramana has been influencing the Andhra Pradesh High Court against his Government. The letter also casts aspersions on the several sitting judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court including the Chief Justice of the said High Court.

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