Transfer of High Court judges leading undue advantage in Jagan Reddy case: Andhra HC

Anushka Mansharamani

Andhra Pradesh High Court observed that there would be a delay of proceedings in 3 capitals cases because of the transfer of the Chief Justices of High Courts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

This transfer would also lead to an undue advantage due to the delay in the CBI cases that are pending against Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

This observation was made by Justice Rakesh Kumar during the rejection of the application moved by the AP Government.

This application by the AP government was made in order to recuse himself from the case that involved the sale of government land in the districts of Guntur and Visakhapatnam.

Justice Rakesh Kumar observed that the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Apex Court is “under attack” due to those in power.

On 6th October the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister had written a letter (Unprecedented move) to the Chief Justice of India claiming that the State High Court was being used to “destabilize and topple” the elected democratic government.

Weeks after the letter Chief Justice J K Maheshwari of the Andhra Pradesh High Court was transferred to the Sikkim High Court and the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court was transferred to Uttarakhand High Court.

Due to the exchange of the letter and transfer Justice Rakesh Kumar observed that he is not aware of any contempt proceedings against the Chief Justice of India but the fact that the transfer had taken place after the recommendation was made by the Collegium of Supreme Court on 14th December remains.

He further stated that “People may draw an inference as if after the so called letter of Chief Minister, the two Chief Justices, i.e., Chief Justice of High Court for the State of Telangana and Chief Justice of High Court of AP have been transferred. By the said transfer, naturally, the cases pending in the Court of Special Judge for CBI cases in Hyderabad against Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and others may be delayed and monitoring by the Supreme Court in W.P (Civil) No.699 of 2016 may hamper for the time being.”

Thereby concluding that there should have been transparency in SC Collegium orders.

Justice Rakesh Kumar clarifies that he is not questioning the transfer but instead due to the chronology of events he states that, that “may reflect some transparency and for betterment or upliftment of the administration of justice. After all, they are also holding Constitutional posts like members of Supreme Court Collegium.”

He further stated that there were several articles online through which he got disturbing information about the CBI cases against CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and thereby concluded that because of the presence of such allegations the recuse petitions should not be entertained as this would amount to “allowing the party for hunting the Bench.”