Updated: June 24, 2021 5:08:43 am
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken suo motu cognizance of the withdrawal of 11 criminal complaints by different magistrates in the state against Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, registering criminal revision cases in the matter.
All 11 cases were linked to protests led by Reddy when he was the leader of the Opposition in the state and the TDP was in power. They included charges like mischief, causing loss or damage through mischief, offence in a place of worship, obstructing a public servant from discharging his duties, armed rioting and criminal conspiracy.
Questioning the High Court’s move, Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram said, “It is unprecedented that the High Court on the administrative side has taken a decision to seek suo motu revision of the matter.” Following arguments in court, the matter was adjourned to Friday.
The 11 criminal revision cases have been filed under CrPC Sections 397, 401, 482 and 483, essentially dealing with the High Court’s powers of revision.
The High Court had received complaints about police in various districts withdrawing the complaints. The court’s Judicial Registrar informed the Reddy government about the suo motu cases, and the matter was listed before a single-judge Bench of Justice K Lalitha Wednesday.
The AG said suo motu cases cannot be initiated by the court on its administrative side, that the Registrar had placed the material before the judge, and the judge had on the judicial side decided to take suo motu action. “For correction of judicial orders passed by lower courts, the course to be taken is essentially judicial,” Sriram said, meaning that someone has to file a petition in court against the withdrawal of cases instead of just sending a letter.
The AG read out an order passed by Justice Rakesh Kumar in December last, wherein he referred to the cases withdrawn against Reddy. “Justice Rakesh Kumar stated that he believed police were acting as per the dictates of the state and not upholding the rule of law. Since the Supreme Court has stayed the operation of the judgment of the High Court, relying on the same material on the administrative side in these matters would be in the teeth of the Supreme Court order,” Subramaniam observed.
He added, “If the administrative committee has already decided that these are errors of procedure, then on the administrative side it has chosen to exercise a judicial power which it cannot.”
Sriram added that the complainants in the cases registered against Reddy were free to approach the High Court for relief. —with PTI inputs
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