The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a batch of public interest litigations (PIL) seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for his statements against a Supreme Court judge and the judiciary.
The apex court said that prayer in a PIL filed by advocate G S Mani seeking direction for removal of the chief minister from his office for his remarks was “not maintainable”.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy refused to grant liberty to the petitioners from intervening in one other matter, pending before another bench. “That court has to take a decision. We cannot allow hundreds of petitioners to file intervention applications on the same issue. You pick up something from the newspaper and file whatever you want under Article 32. If we allow one advocate to do so, tomorrow some other advocate will come forward with his intervention application,” the bench observed, when one of the petitioners sought liberty to intervene in the matter.
The top court also dealt with the prayer of a CBI probe or an enquiry by a retired high court judge against the AP chief minister for making such statements. It said, “A statement was undoubtedly made and it’s in public domain. What is there to probe into the statements? What will the CBI or any retired High court judge enquire in it? The issue of making statements is already being dealt by a different bench and it has lifted the gag order placed by the High Court. Now what remains?”
The bench, however, tagged one PIL filed by advocate Sunil Kumar Singh in the pending matter, filed by Andhra Pradesh government against the High Court restraining the police from investigating a case related to alleged irregularities in land deals in Amaravati.
Advocate Mukti Singh, appearing for Singh, submitted that in the EMS Namboodiripad case, the top court has held that the former Kerala Chief Minister cannot make a particular kind of statement and restrained him from doing so. She sought direction for restraining Reddy from making any such statements in future. The bench said it is not issuing notice but tagging the matter with the pending petition.
The top court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Mani, Singh, advocate Pradeep Kumar Yadav and an NGO seeking probe and action against Reddy for making a statement against a sitting top court judge.
On November 16, top court judge U U Lalit had recused himself from hearing pleas seeking action against Jaganmohan Reddy for levelling allegations against the judiciary. "I have difficulties. As a lawyer I had represented one of the parties. I will pass an order for it to be listed before a Bench without me," Justice Lalit had said.
The pleas alleged that Reddy not only wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde levelling allegations against the judiciary but also held a press conference in which false statements were made.
In an unprecedented move, Reddy had on October 6 written to the CJI alleging that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used to "destabilise and topple my democratically elected government".
The three separate petitions were filed by advocates G S Mani, Sunil Kumar Singh and Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust.