The Supreme Court Advocates-On-Record Association (SCAORA) has issued a statement condemning a letter written by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy against a sitting Supreme Court judge.

The SCAORA said the judge was the next in line to be the Chief Justice of India. Justice N.V. Ramana is the next in line as CJI as per seniority.

“SCAORA notes, with deep anguish, the contents of the letter dated 06.10.2020, written by a Chief Minister to Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India, concerning a sitting Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India next in line to become the Chief Justice of India,” the letter said.

The contents of the letter, dated October 6, and its release to the media in a press conference lacked propriety and tended to “scandalise and breach the independence of the judiciary,” the SCAORA said in a resolution on Tuesday.

The Delhi High Court Bar Association has also condemned Mr. Reddy’s statements as an affront to independence of judiciary.

A writ petition was also filed in the Supreme Court by advocate G.S. Mani alleging that “false, vague and political allegations” surface when a Supreme Court judge is marked for appointment as CJI.

He said that however this was the first time a person holding a constitutional post, like Mr. Reddy, was “misusing his official post.”

Another petition filed by a lawyer, Sunil Kumar Singh, urged the apex court to issue an order to bar Mr. Reddy from making public statements against the judiciary and holding press conferences to malign the judicial institution.

The Constitution does not allow such deliberate attempt to publicly embarrass the judiciary. “What is at stake is the confidence that courts inspire in the public in a democracy,” this petition said.

Credit: Jothika Venugopal

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