Supreme Court quashes AP High Court order criticising Collegium, CM Jagan
The order, issued on December 31, 2020, stemmed from a bench led by Justice Rakesh Kumar in the case of the State of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs Thota Suresh Babu and others.
NEW DELHI: On Friday, the Supreme Court quashed a controversial order from the Andhra Pradesh High Court that strongly rebuked the Collegium and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The order, issued on December 31, 2020, stemmed from a bench led by Justice Rakesh Kumar in the case of the State of Andhra Pradesh and Others vs Thota Suresh Babu and Others.
The Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal, set aside all contentious observations in the High Court order and disposed of the matter.
Justice Rakesh Kumar, in the order, had disapproved of the Supreme Court Collegium's decisions on the transfer of two Chief Justices. Additionally, the order also criticized the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government for interfering with the High Court.
In its order, the High Court had accused the government of meddling with Constitutional institutions and delaying criminal cases against the Chief Minister. It emphasized that questioning a judge's integrity without a reasonable basis is contemptuous. The High Court had expressed concern about influential people thinking they can do anything, jeopardizing the system and harming citizens. It even stated that protecting citizens' fundamental rights in Andhra Pradesh had become challenging.
The High Court had urged the Supreme Court Collegium to be more transparent and consider that High Court judges hold Constitutional posts. Justice Rakesh Kumar had suggested that judges wait a year after retirement before taking on new roles to maintain judicial independence.
The Supreme Court has now set aside these observations. Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Niranjan Reddy, and Mahfooz Ahsan Nazki represented the Andhra Pradesh government.