Contempt proceedings against Jagan, Kallam: AGI K K Venugopal declines to give consent

Attorney-General for India K K Venugopal
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Attorney-General for India K K Venugopal

Highlights

Attorney-General for India K K Venugopal, while describing the conduct of levelling allegations against the Supreme Court's Justice, Justice N V Ramana, was 'contumacious', has declined to give his consent for beginning contempt proceedings against AP Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam

New Delhi: Attorney-General for India K K Venugopal, while describing the conduct of levelling allegations against the Supreme Court's Justice, Justice N V Ramana, was 'contumacious', has declined to give his consent for beginning contempt proceedings against AP Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam.

His stand on the controversial issue was revealed in a letter to a BJP spokesperson, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is also a Supreme Court lawyer.

Ashwini Kumar had written the letter to the A-G last week seeking his consent for lodging contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister and his advisor.In his letter the BJP leader had stated the letter's contents placed in public domain by the Advisor of the AP CM were tantamount to scandalizing the authority of the Supreme Court as well that of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, as it had dragged even the Chief Justice of the High Court and a few other brother judges into the muddle.

The Attorney-General said that the objectionable statements had been made in the said letter of the Chief Minister and the "Chief Justice is well aware of the nature of allegations in the letter". He went ahead to call the 'timing of the letter' and placing the contents in public were 'suspect' as it followed Justice Ramana calling for expeditious disposal of cases against legislators while dealing with the case recently. In his response to Ashwini Kumar, the Attorney-General also referred to the fact that thousands of cases were pending against legislators and "as you yourself pointed out that there are 31 criminal cases pending against him as of October".

The BJP leader "sought consent from AG Venugopal under Section 15(1)(b) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 read with Rule 3 of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975." The AG declined to initiate contempt proceedings, averring that the Chief Justice of India was seized of the matter.

Upadhyay sought the proceedings against the Chief Minister claiming that if a precedent was allowed thus, political leaders would start levelling allegations against judges who do not decide cases in their favour and such a trend would spell the death knell of an independent judiciary.

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