Pointing out that no charges were framed against Jagan despite cases pending since 2011, the court asked, "Is it not a mockery with the system?"

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan reddy sitting on a chair by wearing a white shirt and talking in a mikeFile Photo
news Politics Thursday, December 31, 2020 - 10:12

Andhra Pradesh High Court judge Justice Rakesh Kumar has made scathing observations against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government. The court was hearing a petition seeking his recusal in a case against the Andhra Chief Minister. The court said that such a prayer “is simply a contemptuous act and it is highly deprecated.”

Justice Rakesh Kumar, who specified that he was the one making these observations, also said that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was under “attack by persons, who are in power,” pointing out that similar attacks had been made on the Legislative Council and State Election Commission in Andhra Pradesh. 

“Nowadays, a very disturbing trend has developed in our system. If one is influential, powerful, i.e., both in money and muscle, he feels that he is having every privilege to do anything as per his convenience and to the peril of system or poor citizen,” adding that after “overreaching and undermining” the Legislative Council and the State Election Commission, “it was the turn of highest Court in the State of Andhra Pradesh.”

“Firstly, attack was made on Legislative Council, thereafter another Constitutional body, i.e., State Election Commission; and, now the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and even the Supreme Court is under attack by persons, who are in power,” the judge said.

The judge cited the abuses on social media against the Andhra Pradesh High Court over its orders quashing the government order introducing English as a compulsory subject in schools. “Social media was flooded with insulting and even abusive posts against this Hon'ble Court,” and that the Andhra Pradesh police did not take action and protected the accused. The Andhra Pradesh High Court had in this case taken suo motu cognisance and has asked the CBI to file a probe in the case.

The judge also went on to observe he is “constrained to note” that after allegations were made by the state government against Justice JK Maheshwari, who was hearing the case over the decentralisation of the Andhra capital, his name has been recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for a transfer.

Justice Rakesh Kumar said, "I am not raising any question on the transfer of Chief Justices, either of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh or of the High Court of Telangana, but at the same time, I am constrained to observe that transfer of High Court Judges or its Chief Justices may reflect some transparency and for betterment or upliftment of the administration of justice. After all, they are also holding Constitutional posts like the members of Hon'ble Supreme Court Collegium."

The judge pointed out that after the transfer of the judge, who stayed the Andhra government’s three capital order, “there is every likelihood that some time may be consumed in reconstitution of the Bench and thereafter from zero hearing in those cases may commence.”

The court pointed out that there were seven or eight criminal cases pending against CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, besides other cases filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED). The judge observed, "Surprisingly, though cases are pending since 2011 and onwards, till date, in none of the cases, charges have been framed. Is it not a mockery with the system?"

The court also referred to YS Jagan's past of being accused in disproportionate assets cases and spending time in jail. The judge observed that he had been asked to Google “Khaidi Number 6093” to get more information on Jagan, and when he did, he received some ‘disturbing information.” He added that in several cases against Jagan, the Andhra police have filed closure reports, naming the charges as either false or ‘action drop.’

“The aforesaid act of Andhra Pradesh police reflects as to how head of the Police, i.e., the Director General of Police, Government of Andhra Pradesh, is functioning as per the dictate of the Government, not in upholding rule of law in the State. I am well aware that many of my observations made herein above may not be in consonance with the technicality, but since on the verge of my retirement, my impartiality has been questioned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh on my face in the present proceeding, in my defence, I was constrained to record above facts, which are based on record and may not be disputed. My only endeavour is to uphold the majesty of law,” the judge noted in the order.

The judge also made scathing remarks over the rights of citizens in the state. “...with heavy heart, I may not refrain to record that protection of fundamental rights of citizens of the State of Andhra Pradesh by this Court has become very difficult. I have noticed blatant violation rather encroachment over the right of citizens granted under Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution of India,” the judge said.

Referring to the Chief Minister's "unceremonious letter" to the Chief Justice of India against the judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the judge said that Jagan succeeded in getting "undue advantage" at the moment. The judge’s fresh observations on Jagan and his government once again brought to the fore, the existing conflict between government and judiciary in Andhra Pradesh. 

In October, Jagan had written a letter to the CJI SA Bobde, in an unprecedented move, alleging that the Andhra High Court was being manipulated to "destabilise and topple my democratically elected government."  Jagan alleged that Justice NV Ramana, the second senior-most judge in the Supreme Court, was close to Chandrababu Naidu, and requested the CJI to look into the matter.

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