Supreme Court dismisses Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s complaint against Justice N.V. Ramana who is set to become the next Chief Justice of India

Published : March 25, 2021 11:52 IST

Justice N.V. Ramana of the Supreme Court. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The Supreme Court announced on March 24 that it has “after giving it due consideration” dismissed the complaint filed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy against Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana, who is set to become the 48th Chief Justice of India in April.

Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde announced on the same day that he had written to the Government of India recommending Justice Ramana’s elevation to the post of Chief Justice of India. Justice Bobde’s recommendation comes in response to a letter he received from Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad requesting him to recommend his successor. The recommendation begins the process for appointment of the next Chief Justice of India.

Last October, in an unprecedented move, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister had sent a letter to Chief Justice Bobde alleging that a senior Supreme Court judge had been influencing the sittings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and acting in the interests of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that some judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court had a “nexus with the Supreme Court judge and the Telugu Desam Party and displayed animosity towards [his] government and him”. Jagan Mohan Reddy also said in the letter that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used to “destabilise and topple [his] democratically elected government”. The Chief Minister requested Chief Justice Bobde to examine the matter and consider initiating steps “as may be considered fit and proper to ensure that the State judiciary’s neutrality is maintained”.

Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that the senior apex court judge had proximity to the TDP supremo and former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu and that a “former judge of the honourable Supreme Court placed this fact on record”. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter to Chief Justice Bobde dated October 6 was released to the media at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, on the night of October 10. It was alleged in Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter that after the State government had initiated an inquiry into the actions of the Chandrababu Naidu regime (between 2014 and 2019), it was “clear that the judge started influencing the course of administration of justice in the State”. The apex court judge's influence was in the areas of “roster for sitting of the honourable Judges, whereby important matters of policy and protection for Chandrababu Naidu’s interests were posted before a few honourable judges”, alleged Jagan Mohan Reddys’ complaint. The Chief Minister even referred to some orders to buttress his claims.

Appointed to the Supreme Court on February 17, 2014, Justice N.V. Ramana is slated to take over as the 48th Chief Justice on April 24 and will hold office until August 26, 2022.

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