The High Court of Andhra Pradesh took Suo moto cognizance of the withdrawal of 11 criminal complaints filed against Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. It was about making a speech of hate against the former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu and casting aspersions on his decision to locate the capital in Amaravati 5 years ago.
In 2016, many criminal complaints were registered in different jurisdictions against Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, various magistrates passed orders during that period.
The matter was heard on June 24 by Justice K. Lalitha, who adjourned it until June 25 for additional arguments.
The Court ordered its registry to file revision cases for those complaints.
Mr Subrahmanyam Sriram, the Advocate General of the State, criticized the Court for taking Suo moto action. He said that the cases were registered with the alleged exercise of the power granted under Sections 397, 401, 482 and 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and hence, could not have been initiated by the High Court on its administrative side.
He also pointed out that when the government lawyers sought information about the background of the Suo moto cases from the Registrar General, they were told that the cases were taken based on a report of the administrative committee of the High Court. The copies of the reports of the administrative committee were not given to the government lawyers.
“It is unprecedented that the High Court in its administrative committee has decided to take Suo moto cognizance. This is not a case where the High Court on its administrative side has placed the files before the bench and the bench has decided to take Suo moto cognizance”, the Advocate General said.
“It appears the High Court on its administrative side registered the Suo moto case itself. That is impermissible”, he further added.
Mr Subrahmanyam Sriram contended that the powers granted under Sections 397, 401, 482 and 483 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are judicial functions. Therefore, the registry could not have registered the Suo-moto cases based on a report given by the administrative committee and then place the matter before the bench for judicial consideration.
Through the Suo moto action, the Advocate General said that the “High Court has stepped into the shoes of the complainant, who was otherwise entitled to challenge the magistrate’s orders. Complainant is not barred otherwise from approaching this court.”
Furthermore, additional arguments will take place on June 25.