The Bar Council of India, the apex lawyers’ body in the country, on Thursday condemned the “reprehensible move” by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to “target” Supreme Court judge, Justice N.V. Ramana, and several judges of the State High Court.
The day saw lawyers’ bodies rally to support Justice Ramana, saying the Chief Minister acted in an “irresponsible” manner. The Delhi Bar Association, which is the largest in Asia with 25,000 members, said Mr. Reddy’s letter to the Chief Justice of India was written with a “mala fide intent”.
The BCI, in a statement, said Mr. Reddy’s sole aim was to “undermine the independence of the judiciary and browbeat judges to suit his own purposes”.
The statement said there had been several such “overt and covert” attempts to attack sitting judges of the Supreme Court, but it was “most worrisome and alarming” that such an attack had now come from a Chief Minister.
The BCI called the release of a letter written by Mr. Reddy to the Chief Justice of India at a press conference a “sinister act” and a “manifestation of the conspiracy to scandalise and malign judges”.
The apex court body linked Mr. Reddy’s move to a PIL petition being heard by Justice Ramana to decriminalise politics and speed up the prosecution of corrupt politicians across the country. The day also saw the petitioner in PIL, advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, write to the CJI describing Mr. Reddy’s action as a “deliberate, fraudulent act” calculated to shake public faith in the judiciary.