SC quashes controversial AP HC Judge’s Order rebuking Collegium and CM

The Supreme Court quashed the Order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge in which he had strongly rebuked the Collegium and CM Reddy led YSRCP government.

New Delhi, Feb 9 : The Supreme Court on Friday quashed the Order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court Judge in which he had strongly rebuked the Collegium and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy led YSRCP government by levelling charges of corruption against him and at all levels.

A bench comprising Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal set aside all the contentious observations in the High Court order and disposed of the matter.

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The bench was hearing a plea by the State government challenging a December 31, 2020 order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court passed by Justice Rakesh Kumar.

In his order, Justice Kumar had expressed strong disapproval at the Supreme Court Collegium in relation to the transfer of two Chief Justices, The Judge criticized the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led regime in the State for its apparent attempts to undermine the High Court.

The judge also accused the Andhra government of interfering with the functioning of other Constitutional institutions. The delay in disposing of criminal cases against the Chief Minister was also criticised elaborately.

The High Court judge said that when the question is raised over the honesty, integrity, sincerity and impartiality of a judge without any reasonable basis, the judge has every right to refer to the undisputed facts in his defence.

Further, the Judge went on to say that if any person had a grievance against a judge, the remedy lies before a larger Bench or a higher court. Any deviation or venture to malign a judge without sound basis is contemptuous.

If any influential or powerful people are under the impression that they have every privilege to do anything at their convenience and to the peril of the system or poor citizens, they are mistaken, the judge said.

The High Court judge said, “With a heavy heart”, I say that the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens in Andhra Pradesh by the HC has become “very difficult.”

The Judge clearly stated that the Supreme Court Collegium should be more transparent and should consider the fact that High Court judges also hold Constitutional posts. Justice Kumar said that it would help maintain the independence of the judiciary if judges refrained from considering post-retirement engagements for at least a year after demitting office.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Niranjan Reddy with advocate Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki appeared for the Andhra Pradesh government and sought expunging of the controversial remarks from the judgement.

The Supreme Court has set aside all the controversial observations made by the Judge.