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Probe Jagan's Charges, Says Prashant Bhushan

Probe Jagan's Charges, Says Prashant Bhushan

Prominent lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Monday demanded that Chief Justice of India S A Bobde to constitute a committee to probe into the serious allegations levelled by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy against Supreme Court judge N V Ramana.

In an article written in The Hindu on Monday, Prashant Bhushan said in 1997, judges adopted an in-house procedure for inquiring into such charges.

In case of a complaint against a Supreme Court judge, the CJI is expected to order an inquiry by three sitting judges of the Supreme Court. 

Since Justice Ramana is second in seniority and is most likely to succeed the present CJI in April next year, the sitting judges of the SC, who would be juniors to him, are likely to hesitate to inquire into the allegations.

Therefore, he suggested that only retired judges of high credibility would be able to conduct a robust inquiry into Jagan Mohan Reddy’s complaint. 

“The Chief Justice should set up a credible inquiry committee. This will enhance the reputation of the judiciary, dispel mistruths, and redeem the damage of the judge concerned,” he concluded.

In fact, it will be good for all the judges against whom the allegations were made. This precisely is the demand made by right thinking, neutral persons who want the credibility of the judiciary to remain intact, he said.

“The charge is that the land was purchased by persons, including the Supreme Court judge’s daughters and in-laws (named subsequently in an FIR), after declaration of the capital area limits, at the same low price for the lands which existed before the demarcation, when in fact the market prices had skyrocketed, thereby causing huge pecuniary gain to them,” he pointed out.

Prashant Bhushan also said in March, the Principal Secretary (Home), Andhra Pradesh Government, wrote to the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Public Grievances and Pensions seeking a CBI inquiry into the findings in land purchases.

Prashant Bhushan has supported the decision of Jagan to get the letter he had written to the CJI released to the media through his principal advisor, Ajeya Kallam.

He sought to know whether such a letter or complaint against the Supreme Court judge should have been put out in the public domain.

He also wanted to know what the CJI response should be. He says making content of the letter public was not at all objectionable. The contents were in public domain even before writing the letter.

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