SC refuses to entertain pleas seeking CBI probe against AP Chief Minister

Legal Correspondent New Delhi | Updated on December 01, 2020 Published on December 01, 2020

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain petitions seeking a judicial inquiry or a CBI probe against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for the circumstances leading to the release of his letter addressed to Chief Justice of India levelling allegations against a sitting Supreme Court judge and State High Court judges.

The court also declined a plea by one of the petitioners to issue a writ of quo warranto against Reddy for releasing the “confidential” letter to the public and thus “misusing his office”.

‘Related issue being heard’

Besides, the Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul noted that it did not want any “multiplicity of litigation”. Another Bench of the apex court headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan is already examining an appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government in a connected issue. This appeal before Justice Bhushan concerns a September 16 order of the high court, staying the investigation into the “illegal purchase” of land in Amaravati. The High Court had also barred the State from taking any coercive action against the persons named in the FIR, which includes relatives of the Supreme Court judge and a former Additional Advocate General, even as it restrained the media from reporting the case. The allegations in the FIR include abuse of official positions in the State and sharing of privileged information and causing loss to the public exchequer during the previous Telugu Desam Party regime. The letter which Reddy sent the CJI on October 6, contained allegations in connection with the Amaravati land purchase case. It was this letter which was released on October 10 in a press conference.

On Tuesday, Justice Kaul highlighted that Justice Bhushan’s Bench, on November 25, has lifted the gag order on the media. “So we have already entertained one petition (Andhra government’s appeal). There cannot be any multiplicity of litigation... People cannot keep coming to us on this issue. This cannot be an endless exercise,” Justice Kaul told the petitioners.

Advocate GS Mani, whose petition is the lead one, argued that the issue before Justice Bhushan’s court is not the same.

But Justice Kaul persisted that consequences flowing from the case before Justice Bhushan may have an effect on every aspect of the issue, including the release of the letter. The Bench refused Mani’s plea to tag his petition along with the Andhra Pradesh government’s case before Justice Bhushan, saying this cannot devolve into a “merry game”.

‘Faith in Judiciary’

However, the court tagged a petition filed by advocate Sunil Kumar Singh, which said the conduct of Reddy amounted to scandalising and weakening public faith in the judiciary.

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Published on December 01, 2020
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