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Naidu has 'unwarranted intimacy' with SC judge?

A report carried by Economic Times on Tuesday exposing the 'unwarranted intimacy' between a Supreme Court judge and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is creating ripples in the media circles and triggered intense debate over the nexus between the executive and the judiciary.

The report quoted a letter written by second senior-most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Jasti Chalameshwar to the Supreme Court collegium on March 28 pointed out the proximity between Naidu and another SC judge Justice N V Ramana which was too well known. 

He said: “The tenor of the opinions of the chief minister and the Hon’ble judge are too similar (almost identical) to be an accident. Coupled with the timing of the two letters, the only inference that can be drawn is that they are in live communication.”

The matter refers to the proposal of appointing six advocates to the high court in Hyderabad for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, for which opinions of both chief ministers were sought. Justice Chalameshwar also questioned the timing of the submissions by Justice Ramana and Naidu.

Naidu wrote to the law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on March 21 objecting to the appointment of the six advocates. Justice Ramana noted his concerns to ex-CJI Khehar on March 24.

The ET report said the collegium had agreed with Justice Chalameswar and overruled arguments offered by Justice Ramana and Naidu objecting to the appointment of six advocates as high court judges.

The report sought to project Justice Chalameshwar in high esteem and run down Ramana saying the latter was under the influence of Naidu. But sources say both the judges were close to Naidu and indirectly worked for the Telugu Desam Party.

In fact, Chalameshwar is closely related to NTR family and hence, Chandrababu Naidu. And there are allegations that they could rise to the level of Supreme Court judges only on the recommendations of Naidu.

“So, it is surprising that Chalameshwar accuses Ramana of having unwarranted intimacy with Naidu. What about his own intimacy?” a journalist asked.

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