Andhra Pradesh HC
Andhra Pradesh HC
Litigation News

Conspiracy against Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh HC, Supreme Court Judge: AP HC initiates inquiry

A recording of a conversation stated to have been between a former High Court Judge and another person disclosing a conspiracy against the Court's Chief Justice and a Supreme Judge prompted the initiation of an inquiry.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered an inquiry into a telephonic conversation purportedly between a former High Court Judge and another person which disclosed a conspiracy against the Chief Justice of the High Court and a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

The Bench of Justices M Satyanarayana Murthy and Lalitha Kanneganti passed an order requesting retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice (retd.) RV Raveendran to conduct the inquiry.

“It is an unpleasant or gloomy day in the history of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, because the High Court itself has to ward-off the brazen onslaught from the third parties to demean the prestige of the pristine judicial institution in the eye of the litigant public.”
Andhra Pradesh High Court

The Court was presented with a pen drive containing the recording of a conversation stated to be between one, S Ramakrishna and a retired judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The recording is stated to have disclosed that a Public Interest Litigation pending before the High Court was filed at the behest of the former High court Judge.

"The conversation further discloses use of intemperate language against two senior most judges of the Supreme Court and it is a matter of serious concern. If such conversation goes to the public, it will certainly crumble the confidence of the public on Courts and the system itself", the Court said.

The person in the recording (alleged to be the former High Court judge) is stated to have urged Ramakrishna to “collect material” against a sitting judge of the Supreme Court so that a petition can be sent to mar his future career.

Last Thursday, the High Court observed that “It is difficult to readily believe that it is the voice of Sri S. Ramakrishna and third party i.e. the person who had conversation with Sri S. Ramakrishna, at this stage.”

"Since it is a plot designed against The Hon’ble Chief Justice of High Court of Andhra Pradesh with malafide intention with the connivance of an undisclosed interest of different persons, unless authenticity or genuineness of the contents of the material in pen drive is established, this Court cannot proceed against anyone and decide the petitioner before this court...", the Court observed in its order.

While highlighting the need to verify the authenticity of the recording, the Bench also spoke of the necessity to ensure public faith in the Courts.

"In a democratic set-up, intrinsic and embedded faith in the adjudicatory system is of seminal and pivotal concern. It is the faith and faith alone that keeps the system alive.”

Andhra Pradesh High Court

The Judges, therefore, requested Justice (retd.) Raveendran, to make inquiries and submit his findings to the Court.

The Directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Bureau have been directed to depute responsible officers to collect information relating to the conversation and aid Justice Raveendran in his inquiry.

Notably, while ordering the inquiry, the Court also relied on the Supreme Court’s suo motu decision to probe whether sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were part of a larger conspiracy. Justice AK Patnaik had been tasked with the inquiry in that case.

Read the Andhra Pradesh HC's order here:

BC, SC, ST Minority Student Federation v. Union of India and Ors..pdf
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