NEW DELHI: The All India Bar Association (AIBA) on Saturday urged the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for making "scandalous" allegations against Justice NV Ramana, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court and judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.
AIBA chairperson Dr Adish C Aggarwala, while condemning the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for his October 6 letter to the CJI SA Bobde, said the "scurrilous and scandalous" remarks against Justice Ramana, the next in line to become the Chief Justice of India, and judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court have "shaken the independence of the judiciary".
Expressing serious concern over the turn of events, Dr Aggarwala said the letter from a Chief Minister who is facing various corruption and money laundering charges in courts, is "unwarranted" and clearly an attempt to obstruct courts from functioning by "vilifying judges" and intimidate them for obtaining "favorable" orders.
AIBA in a press statement said that it is completely an abuse of the process of rule of law that the Chief Minister instead of resorting to appeals and other mechanism provided under the Constitution, has resorted to level serious allegations against judges, who have dealt with certain cases.
"It is a dangerous and callous act undertaken by the Chief Minister, which may have consequences on the prevalence of democracy in the State and may lead to serious consequences. Moreover, the letter is rife with malafides as the same appears to have been intended to bench hunt for securing favorable orders," the statement said.
AIBA said the "tone, tenor, and timing" of the letter clearly establish the vested interests and hidden agenda of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
"In this context, it would be important to note that Justice NV Ramana is dealing with a public interest litigation for decriminalising politics and fast-tracking pending criminal cases against corrupt politicians. There is no gainsaying that the Chief Minister has numerous pending criminal and money laundering cases," it said.
"It is a matter of pain and anguish that the Andhra Pradesh government has foisted a false FIR against his kin on a baseless, fabricated and fictitious basis to intimidate judge and scandalise the Court," the statement added.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote an open letter to CJI SA Bobde, alleging that Justice NV Ramana, who is next in line to be the CJI, has been influencing the sittings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and has a close relationship with TDP leaders, including party president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.