Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has written to Chief Justice of India Sharad Aravind Bobde, alleging that Supreme Court judge Justice NV Ramana had been influencing the sittings of the state High Court, including the roster of some judges. In a letter, dated October 6, Reddy alleged that cases important to the Opposition Telugu Desam Party were “allocated to a few judges”.
Reddy said that beneficiaries of two important judgements of the Andhra Pradesh High Court were Telugu Desam Party leaders. The chief minister also highlighted that Ramana was a legal adviser and additional advocate-general in the previous Chandrababu Naidu-led government.
The chief minister said that in June last year, the Andhra Pradesh government formed a sub-committee to examine the allegations of corruption, ruthless exploitation of natural resources and grabbing of lands from small and marginal farmers during the reign of the previous government. The sub-committee submitted its findings, holding that Naidu and others had amassed a lot of wealth by illegal transactions of purchase of approximately 4,000 acres, among other things. Reddy recalled that the state government had recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation probe to the Centre.
Reddy urged Bobde to consider initiating steps to ensure that Andhra Pradesh’s judicial neutrality was maintained. The High Court has gagged the media from reporting on a land deal case in Amaravati concerning a former legal officer and others.
Adviser to the Chief Minister Ajeya Kallam told reporters on Saturday that the state government had submitted all evidence to the chief justice of India pertaining to “interference by a sitting Supreme Court judge in matters dealt by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh”, according to The Hindu. “In larger public interest and in order to put to rest the speculations in a section of media concerning these developments, the government deemed it fit to officially speak on the above to ensure the dignity of all the institutions of the State is preserved,” he said.