Attorney General Again Refuses Nod For Contempt Case Against Jagan Reddy

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Attorney General Again Refuses Nod For Contempt Case Against Jagan Reddy

Ashwini Upadhyay, had written again to the Attorney General, asking him to reconsider his decision.

New Delhi:

Attorney General KK Venugopal has declined to reconsider his refusal to initiate contempt proceedings against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for a second time regarding his allegations against a Supreme Court judge.  

Mr Venugopal had refused permission to Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay on November 2 to initiate contempt proceedings in the matter. The Attorney General, however, said his refusal to give consent cannot stop Mr Upadhyay from approaching the court, which can suo motu initiate contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister.  

On October 6, Mr Reddy had written to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde about Justice NV Ramana, a senior judge of the Supreme Court, claiming that he was working against the elected government of the state after his orders to expedite pending prosecution against legislators from the Chief Minister's YSR Congress.    

Mr Reddy claimed that the senior judge was acting on behalf of his opposition, former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party. He also accused Justice Ramana of colluding with High Court judges and said they were acting at his behest.  

Mr Upadhyay, the petitioner in the case in which Justice Ramana's orders came, had called for contempt proceedings against the Chief Minister.  

Mr Venugopal had said prima facie timing of the Chief Minister's letter to the Chief Justice of India, and its being made public, was suspect in the backdrop of Justice Ramana's orders in September on plea to speed up the trials against sitting and former lawmakers, including Jagan Mohan Reddy. 

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"Since the letter was addressed directly to the Chief Justice of India, the CJI is seized of the case and it would not be appropriate for me to deal with it," the Attorney General said last Monday, explaining why he would not initiate contempt proceedings against Mr Reddy.  

Mr Upadhyay, however, had written again to the Attorney General, asking him to reconsider his decision.

In his response, Mr Venugopal said not only is he required to consider whether "particular statements or conduct will be prima facie contumacious" but also whether it is in "larger public interest" to place such matters before the Supreme Court as a contempt petition.  

In this case, the letter to the Chief Justice with alleged statements that comprise contempt were later released to the media, he wrote. But the letter was not marked confidential and so cannot be described as a "private missive" and was already being reported by the press.   

"Hence there is no reason for me to change my mind," he added.

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