UU Lalit, Supreme Court Judge Justice, excused himself from hearing petitions against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government over the press conference and the letter accusing Justice Ramana and Andhra High Court Judges.
When the matter came up on the agenda, Justice Lalit said the following, “I have difficulty, I can’t hear this matter. As a lawyer, I have represented parties in this matter in litigations. We will say ‘list before a bench of which Lalit, J. is nota part...We will direct the registry to seek appropriate instructions from the Chief Justice of India and list before the appropriate court at the earliest”.
Total two petitions have been filed against the Andhra Pradesh Government’s Press Conference, where Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy disclosed that he had written a letter to Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, making allegations against the Supreme Court Judge, NV Ramana. Emphasizing the importance of the independence and integrity of the judiciary, out of two petitions, one has been filed by Advocate GS Mani who sought the records of the sitting Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and to declare that he has no authority to hold his office as he is misusing the same. “It is not permissible that the 3rd respondent, Sh. YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who is Chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh holding the constitutional post by misusing his official post, power, and office of Chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh making false, vague, scandalized remarks and political allegation against the Senior Most Sitting judge of this Hon’ble Court openly in the public and media after sending a communication to the Chief Justice of India
, he said. It was also stated that the sitting Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh’s involvement in a number of criminal cases with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Court, therefore, assert that the allegations are made intentionally to tarnish and vandalize the reputation of the Court for personal gain and motive. On behalf of Sunil Kumar Singh, the second petition was filed through a practicing lawyer, Advocate-on-Record Mukti Singh who sought a stop on such press briefings by the CM against judges and to issue a “show cause notice”
to him as to why a suitable action should not be taken against him. Affirming in the grounds, inter alia, that the act and deed of the respondent is an attempt to vandalize and tarnish the image of the Majesty of the Highest Court of the Country, which stated in the plea that the press conference by the Chief Minister Reddy made unsubstantiated allegations against an honorable Judge Ramana, of this Hon’ble Court. The petitioner also contended that CM Reddy has crossed limits which have been prescribed by the Constitution.