An advocate with a penchant for truth

An advocate with a penchant for truth

C Padmanabha Reddy was one of the senior-most criminal advocates of Andhra Pradesh High Court. As a highly learned legal expert, eminent lawyers and...

C Padmanabha Reddy was one of the senior-most criminal advocates of Andhra Pradesh High Court. As a highly learned legal expert, eminent lawyers and journalists always consulted him on the finer aspects of any case. Padmanabha Reddy also holds the record for arguing 13,000 criminal cases in the country

A dvocate, Padmanabha had argued the highest number of murder cases (Sec 302) in the country. He argued approximately around 13000 cases in which convicts got life term.

reddyChagari Padmanabha Reddy was born on March 18, 1931, in Yadiki village of Anantapur district. Padmanabha was called the “poor man’s advocate.” Son of a licensed medical practitioner, Padmanabha studied law at Madras Law College.

He completed his SSLC at Lon- don Mission High School in Gooty town of Anantapur. He wanted to pursue medicine after his intermediate but could not get an MBBS seat. So he studied B.Sc. His cousin Justice O Chinnapatti was his mentor, guide and guru. He persuaded him to practice law. He was guided by Justice P Chandrashekar Reddy, the second Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh in 1958. He gained a lot of exposure under these two eminent Chief Justices. In 1954, he was shifted to the High Court in Guntur which was constituted after Andhra Pradesh was separated from the Combined Madras state.

In 1956, he shifted back to Hyderabad after the High Court was established in the city. He was invited several times as amicus curiae to assist in cases on constitutional questions that were dealt by larger benches.

In December 2008 wherein two division benches of the High Court had given diametrically opposite judgments in a single criminal appeal (one acquitting and the other convict- ing an accused), the court took Padmanabha Reddy's advice to get out of the legal impasse. Following his advice, the second division bench deliberated again and recalled its judgment. He also argued and engaged himself in a legal battle against the atrocities of Nizams during the Telangana movement in the 1950s. There were several occasions when judges and senior journalists used to consult him for legal opinions.

Padmanabha was the president of All India Lawyers Association which is a subsidiary of International Advocates Association. He always actively arranged meetings with all lawyers of Andhra Pradesh for discussions on various laws and judgements. Last week they had a seminar on the recent Supreme Court ruling on political leaders with a criminal background. Soft spoken, dedicated and sincere Padmanabha Reddy had a lot of concern for the poor who could not afford paying big lawyers. He was always of the opinion that e-judiciary must be implemented in our courts. He also emphasised on the need for better quality of legal education in the universities.

CM, Naidu attend last rites

Senior advocate Padmanabha Reddy breathed his last on Sunday. He was 82 and is survived by wife Indiramma and son, Justice C Praveen Kumar, a sitting judge of the AP High Court.

Padmanabha has left behind a legacy of name and fame. He surely is an icon for many practicing senior and junior advocates.

Almost all the judges of the High Court and lower courts attended the funeral of the scholar. VIPs who attended the funeral included Jeevan Reddy, a retired Supreme Court judge; Kiran Kumar Reddy, AP Chief Minister; Chandrababu Naidu, TDP leader; Narayana, CPI leader; Raghavulu, CPM leader and Bharthi, Jaganmohan Reddy’s wife from YSRCP.

DGP Dinesh Reddy spent about an hour consoling the bereaved family. Gaddar was there till the last rites were performed. A very composed Justice Praveen Kumar, performed the last rites.

“We remember the values by which he lived, the ideals he embraced, his dignity, his diligence, his courtesy and his personal concern for the well-being of individuals. To the untrained eye, he was someone sans pomp and circumstance one would expect from an individual of his stature,” said a few lawyers.

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