A petition has been moved before the Supreme Court seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in relation to a press conference wherein, he made allegations against sitting judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Supreme Court.
The plea came after Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of India complaining about Supreme Court Justice N V Ramana and certain judges in the Andhra High Court in the context of the Amaravati land scam. In his letter to the CJI, CM Jagan had alleged that some high court judges were attempting to protect the interests of the opposition party i.e. Telugu Desam Party in politically sensitive matters. He further alleged 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…” Subsequently, on 10th October the Principal Advisor of Jagan, Ajeya Kallam had in a press conference released the letter written by the CM to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde alleging judicial impropriety on the part of Justice N V Ramana, who is next in line to be CJI.
Therefore, the present petition filed by one, Noida-based lawyer Sunil Kumar Singh, stated that “The Press Conference by the Chief Minister made unsubstantiated allegations against an honorable judge of this Hon’ble court. Therefore, the act and deed of the respondent is an attempt to tarnish the Majesty of the Highest court in the country.”
The petitioner contended that “CM Jagan has ‘crossed the limit’ which has been prescribed by the Constitution. Alleging corruption and bias is prohibited by the clear provisions and mandate of the Constitution of India as provided under Article(s) 121 and 211 of the Indian Constitution. Wherein it has been mandated by the Constitution that no discussion shall take place in Parliament or in the state legislature with respect to the conduct of any judge of Supreme Court or the High Court in the discharge of his duty.”
“Freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution is subject to reasonable restrictions in relation to contempt of courts and defamation. 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,” added the petitioner.
Further, the petition prayed that a direction be issued to Reddy not to make insinuations before the public or to the media against judges of the Supreme Court.
“Issue a direction against the respondent (CM Jagan) to not make such a statement in future or conduct any public or press briefing either himself or through his subordinate or agent to malign the institution of Supreme Court and judges of the Supreme Court,” read the petition.
The petition further prays for a show-cause notice to be issued to CM Jagan as to why action should not be taken against him.