Attorney General of India K.K. Venugopal in his reply to the letter written by Advocate Anil Kumar Upadhyay, requesting AG’s consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for his malicious letter against Justice N.V. Ramana to the Chief Justice of India. The letter by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister accusing Justice N.V. Ramana, the next in line to become the Chief Justice of India of colluding with the opposition to influence the judgments of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was the sole allegation reiterated throughout the letter.
The letter came as a saviour to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister who is being criticized by legal luminaries and lawyers throughout the country. Rejecting the plea of the Advocate Anil Kumar Upadhyay, the AG opined that the matter is in the purview of the CJI and it would not be appropriate for him to take up the issue. The lines from AG Venugopal’s letter are reproduced below:
“In this background, prima facie, the conduct of the said persons is contumacious. However, what has to be noted is that the entire case of contempt arises out of the letter dated 06.10.2020 written by the Chief Minister directly to the Chief Justice of India and the subsequent press conference held by Sh.Kellam. The Chief Justice of India is seized of the matter. Hence, it would not be appropriate for me to deal with the matter”
But the letter becomes more interesting as the AG has mentioned that the letter by AP CM was objectionable, highlighting the timing of the letter that came just after the judgment made by N.V. Ramana to fast-track the prosecutions of the elected representatives and to be disposed of immediately; it was Anil Kumar Upadhyay who filed a petition to expedite cases against elected representatives.
The letter clearly mentions that the timing of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s letter to the CJI is suspicious in light of Justice Ramana’s order passed on 16 September 2020 directing subordinate courts to expedite all cases against public representatives. Further, the letter in very explicit terms points out that 31 criminal cases are pending against AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and that a press conference putting out the letter in the public domain adds to the gravity of the matter.