New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Attorney General KK Venugopal has for the second time turned down request for his consent for filing a criminal contempt case against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy for writing a letter to the CJI against Justice NV Ramana.
Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay is seeking contempt action against Reddy for writing a letter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde for making “wild and reckless” allegations against Justice Ramana.
In his fresh letter to Upadhyay, Venugopal said: “Given that the Chief Justice of India is seized of the matter, it would not be appropriate for me to grant consent and preclude the determination of the Chief Justice of India on the matter.
“As you are no doubt aware, contempt is a matter between the court and contemnor, and no person as a right can insist upon the initiation of contempt proceedings. For these reasons, I cannot accede to your request for reconsideration.”
Venugopal said that his refusal to grant consent does not preclude the lawyer from bringing these facts to the notice of the court.
“I would invite your attention to the fact that my refusal to grant consent does not preclude you from bringing these facts to the notice of the Hon’ble Judges of the Supreme Court with a prayer for initiation of suo motu action. You may exercise this right either by way of information placed on the administrative side or by bringing it to the attention of the court during the hearing of WP(C)699/2016 where you are already a petitioner in person,” the AG said.
On November 2, the Attorney General had said that the timing of Reddy’s letter to the CJI on allegations against Justice Ramana and making it public through a press meet was “suspect”, but declined consent for initiating contempt proceedings against the Andhra politician.
Responding to Upadhyay’s earlier letter, the AG had said: “I am of the opinion that the timing of the letter, as well as its being placed in the public domain through a press conference, could certainly be said to be suspect, in the background of the order dated September 16 passed by Justice Ramana, directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed expeditiously.”
In an unprecedented move, the Chief Minister had written to Chief Justice Bobde, alleging that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was used to destabilise and topple democratically elected government, and sought the Chief Justice’s intervention in the matter. He urged the CJI to consider initiating steps “as may be considered fit and proper to ensure that the state judiciary’s neutrality is maintained”.