Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde has set up a political storm which in turn left the Supreme Court bar divided. In a letter released put in public domain, Chief Minister alleged that the SC judge NV Ramana of influencing the High Court of AP to deliver judgements against his Government’s policies and programmes.
The letter alleged judicial impropriety on the part of Justice Ramana and raised questions on certain land transactions allegedly involving members of his family. Almost a week after which, the second-most senior judge broke the silence taking potshots at Jagan. Addressing the condolence meeting of late Justice AR Lakshmanan via video conference, Justice Ramana made indirect remarks on the on-going issue.
“It is an important quality for a judge to withstand all pressures and odds and to stand up bravely against all obstacles. There are innumerable qualities that a person needs to live what can be called a good life: humility, patience, kindness, a strong work ethic and the enthusiasm to constantly learn and improve oneself,” he said.
Justice Ramana further pointed out that one cannot win credibility and people’s trust by force discursively referring to the Chief Minister. “We would be judged not by what we have but by what we have done and what are all its consequences,” he added.
It can be recalled that CM Jagan’s letter to the CJI came at a time when he faces rising legal heat. The bench headed by Justice Ramana is hearing a petition by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, seeking fast-tracking of pending criminal cases against sitting and former legislators. Meanwhile, two petitions have been moved in the Supreme Court seeking action against Jagan Reddy for the letter, which the petition’s claim have scandalised the reputation of the court.