The Bar Council of India (BCI) on Thursday said that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy targeted Supreme Court judge, Justice NV Ramana in a bid to pressurise him, tarnish his image and scandalise the institution.
The remarks came after Jagan Mohan Reddy, in a letter to Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on October 6, alleged that Justice Ramana has been influencing the sittings of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, including the roster of few Judges.
Expressing solidarity with the judiciary, BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said: "There is no gainsaying that numerous criminal cases are pending against the Chief Minister. It appears that the Chief Minister by making his letter public through the media, has adopted the tactics to pressurise the Hon'ble Judge, to tarnish his image and scandalise the Institution."
"The sinister act of releasing the letter of the CM to the media is the clear manifestation of the conspiracy to scandalise and malign the judges, which nothing but a subterfuge to shake the confidence of the public in the institution of the Judiciary and administration of justice," he said, terming himself "appalled by the reprehensible move".
The BCI chief emphasised that several Judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court, including its Chief Justice, have also been targeted, with the sole aim to undermine the independence of the judiciary and browbeat judges to suit the Chief Minister's own purposes.
"In recent times, the country has witnessed several such overt and covert attempts when sitting Judges the Supreme Court have been attacked by a section of society to destabilize the system of administration of Justice," Mishra added.
Asserting that since judges cannot join the issues with these elements in public to counter their morbid designs as per the norms of judicial discipline, he said that the onus falls on shoulders of the Bar and the responsible citizens of the country to uphold the dignity of the institution.
"It must be noted that Justice Ramana was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation for decriminalising politics. It is high time that the prudent citizen of the country, particularly the lawyers, come forward to defeat and demolish the forces of disruption whose hidden agenda behind their evil move is to subvert the smooth functioning of courts and administration of justice," he urged.
The lawyers of the Country have always stood behind the Judges whenever any attempt to scandalise the institution has been made, and the legal fraternity of the country will never tolerate any such evil design of anybody to malign the system, Mishra added.