New Delhi: Supreme Court judge, Justice U.U. Lalit, on Monday recused himself from hearing a plea seeking action against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, who wrote a letter to Chief Justice S.A. Bobde raising various allegations against the apex court's second senior-most judge Justice N.V. Ramana.
As the plea came up for hearing before a bench headed by him and comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat, Justice Lalit, at the very outset, said: "As a lawyer, I had represented these parties in litigation. I cannot take up this matter."
He said that the matter should be listed at the earliest before any other judge, as per the decision of the Chief Justice. The bench was scheduled to hear three petitions seeking inquiry and action against the Chief Minister for his "scandalising" remarks against Justice Ramana.
Two advocates -- G.S. Mani, Pradeep Kumar Yadav and Sunil Kumar Singh -- and NGO Anti-Corruption Council of India Trust, in their pleas, have contended that allegations levelled against Justice Ramana are baseless and cited Reddy is facing over 20 criminal cases.
The pleas alleged that Reddy not only wrote a letter to the Chief Justice levelling allegations against the judiciary, but also held a press conference where false statements were made.
On October 6, Reddy, in an unprecedented move, had written to the Chief Justice alleging that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used to "destabilise and topple his democratically-elected government".
Singh, in his petition, has asked the top court to issue a show cause to Reddy after his government's official made public a letter written by Reddy to the Chief Justice. He had contended that due to Reddy's conduct, the faith of public at large is shaken and the Chief Minister's conduct is nothing but an attempt to destabilise the duly established democratic setup of our country.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had already twice turned down request for his consent for filing a criminal contempt case against Reddy for writing a letter to the Chief Justice against Justice Ramana.