AP accuses Justice Ramana of influencing High Court
Andhra Pradesh government has complained to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) about the intervention and influencing of serving Supreme Court judge Justice NV Ramana, in the proceedings of the State High Court to benefit a political party and individuals and it has sought the apex court’s consideration to ensure that State judiciary maintains neutrality.
Principal Advisor to Chief Minister, Ajaya Kallam, addressing media here on Saturday, has released a letter written by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to the CJI , which categorically stated that the government has material evidence to show that Justice NV Ramana has been influencing the proceedings of the State High Court which has recently issued orders staying the proceedings of Cabinet sub-committee and SIT and stay of investigation and gag order on FIR filed against former Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas and two daughters of Justice NV Ramana and others. The names were removed in compliance with the High Court orders in writ petition in 16468/2020. The case pertains to purchase of land in large extent abutting the proposed capital region by people in high office and their associates with prior knowledge and has come to be known as Amaravati land scam. The land deals took place during the term of Chandrababu Naidu.
The State has placed material before the CJI, the instances evidencing Justice NV Ramana’s proximity with N Chandrababu Naidu and his interventions to protect the interests of TDP. The instances of judicial impropriety of Justice NV Ramana, while he was the Judge of High Court, in passing orders favouring Dammalapati Srinivas , was also mentioned.
The Chief Minister, in his letter dated October 6, 2020, has expressed his enormous respect towards judiciary, High Court and Supreme Court and the letter is only to sensitize the Supreme Court about the acts of a few individual judges and reiterated his government’s abiding compliance with judiciary, constitution and all institutions.
The eight page letter written by the Chief Minister mentioned about the material he has enclosed in the annexure to show that ‘Justice NV Ramana has been influencing the High Court including the roster of a few Honourable judges and instances of how matters important to TDP have been allocated to a few Honourable Judges to establish the nexus between Justice NV Ramana, TDP and a few Judges of High Court. The latest one being the orders passed by High Court Chief Justice Maheshwari in WP No 16468 of 2020 filed by Dammalapati Srinivas can lead to no other inference. This is the order of stay of investigation in FIR lodged against D Srinivas, including the gag order on press, against which an SLP is preferred. An interim order was passed on the very next day of the gag order staying further proceedings, despite the SLP.
The beneficiaries of both the orders of High Court are politicians belonging to TDP of which Justice NV Ramana was a legal adviser and Additional Advocate General in the past advising the government run by the TDP and his closeness to Chandrababu Naidu is well known. This reflects in the nature of orders passed staying investigation, inquiry and rest at the admission stage itself.’
The Chief Minister in his letter stated that he has true faith and allegiance to Constitution under which the three branches of Legislature, Executive and Judiciary should function. To avoid power in any one of the three branches, Constitution has devised a scheme of power distribution both horizontally and vertically. The check on members of judiciary is their conscience and adherence to settled principles and jurisprudence.’
During the period of 2014-19, the former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his coterie have amassed wealth by misuse of power which mandated an inquiry by our government based on numerous complaints The cabinet sub committee report was placed in the State Assembly which has pointed out the illegal transactions of about 4,000 acres of land. In course of inquiry it came to light that two daughters of Justice NV Ramana and some of his close associates and relatives are beneficiaries of the questionable transactions that took place between the date of swearing in by Chandrababu Naidu as Chief Minister and his announcement of the Capital region. The transactions were routed through D Srinivas who was at that point of time Additional Advocate General of the State.
In annexure, the Chief Minister gave a detailed report on the numerous petitions and PILs filed by TDP or its sympathisers against the decisions and Bills passed by the, government and the Court, with names of judges, protecting their interests. Amaravati Land Scam, Stay of eviction/demolition process, Criminal petition on Ramesh Hospitals, State Election Commissioner seeking quash of FIR against Assistant Secretary, Navayuga Engineering, Writ challenging the SIT and Cabinet Sub Committee findings, allegations of phone tapping of Honourable judges, PIL relating to arrest of Chandrababu Naidu in Vizag among others.
The state has appealed to the CJI to look into the matter and consider initiating steps to ensure that the State Judiciary’s neutrality is maintained.