In a rare move, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has written a letter to Chief Justice of India complaining against a senior judge of the Supreme Court, who is believed to the “CJI-in-waiting” – Justice N V Ramana – alleging that he “has been influencing the sittings of the (Andhra Pradesh) High Court including the roster of a few Honourable Judges” and that he and some of his close aides were the “beneficiaries of various questionable transaction of land”.
Levelling serious allegations against Judge Ramana, the Chief Minister in the letter has said the judge was acting on behalf of the state’s prime opposition Telugu Desam Party headed by former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s letter refers to Justice Ramana’s alleged “proximity” to the TDP chief, and an Anti-Corruption Bureau investigation into “questionable transactions of land” involving two daughters of Justice Ramana and others in Amaravati, before it was declared the site for the new capital of the state.
The Supreme Court judge named has not yet responded to the controversy.
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Jagan Reddy, expressing “pain and anguish” in the letter, said that the “august institution of the high court is being used to destabilise and topple the democratically elected government”.
The letter also alleged that the Supreme Court judge was influencing the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
The letter also named a few high court judges who were rostered allegedly to handle the cases that were important for Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP.
In a detailed letter, which the chief minister said was written with “utmost responsibility”, also mentions cases and examples and shared documents claiming they were evidence of judgments in favour of the Telugu Desam leaders and which allegedly “obstructed the work of his own government, both in policy decisions and investigations initiated to expose alleged corruption during the time of Chandrababu Naidu as chief minister”.
Urging the Chief Justice of India to consider initiating such steps as may be considered “fit and proper to ensure that the state judiciary’s neutrality is maintained”, the chief minister assured of providing any “further material” needed to substantiate his claims.
The formal complaint handed over on Thursday (October 8) was dated October 6, 2020 — the day the Chief Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
Late on Saturday, advisor to the Andhra Pradesh government, Ajay Kellam read out a statement in English on behalf of the government at a press conference in Vijayawada.