Petition in SC seeks notice against AP CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Justice UU Lalit recuses from hearing plea against the Andhra CM over press conference against Justice NV Ramana

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to refrain from making public statements or holding press conferences to malign the “august institution of the Supreme Court” and its judges.

The plea comes soon after the Principal Advisor to the Andhra CM held a press conference on October 10 revealing that a letter was addressed to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde making allegations of bias and judicial impropriety against a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

Filed through Advocate on Record Mukti Singh, the petition states that public’s confidence in the courts is at stake. The plea reads, “In the society of today, where the discussion in the media and on social media can go wild within days or within hours, it can affect the image of the judiciary and hence the confidence of the general public in the judiciary.”

The petitioner avers that alleging corruption and bias against judges is prohibited under the mandate of the Constitution of India as provided under Article(s) 121 and 211. It further states that it is “mandated by the Constitution that no discussion shall take place in Parliament or in state legislature with respect to the conduct of any judge of Supreme Court or the High Court in the discharge of his duty.”

Stating that the Andhra CM has crossed the limit prescribed by the Constitution, the petitioner advocate Sunil Kumar Singh states that “constitutional immunity is granted to the judiciary is with a purpose to allow them to perform their functions fearlessly.”

The plea goes on to state, “In the society of today, where the discussion in the media and on social media can go wild within days or within hours, it can affect the image of judiciary and hence the confidence of the general public in the judiciary.”

Calling the incident “unprecedented”, the petitioner states that at the core of the concept of judicial independence is the theory of separation of powers. The “relationship between the three branches of the government should be one of respect, each recognising and respecting the proper role of the others”, the petitioner avers.

In his letter addressed to CJI Bobde, CM Reddy had alleged that former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is using the High Court to destabilize and topple the democratically elected state government.

The letter alleges that since the new government undertook an inquiry into the actions of Naidu during his 2014-2019 regime, it is now clear, that a sitting Supreme Court judge “started influencing the course of administration of justice in the State, through the Chief Justice…”

The petition further prays for a show-cause notice to be issued to CM Reddy as to why action should not be taken against him.