The Andhra Pradesh government has appointed advocate Jasti Naga Bhushan as Additional Advocate General of the state.
An order to this effect was issued by the state law department on December 9. Bhushan is the son of former Supreme Court judge Justice Jasti Chelameswar.
The appointment comes at a time when Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his government have been at loggerheads with the judiciary in the state.
In October, Reddy wrote to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, alleging that Supreme Court judge Justice N V Ramana had been “influencing the sittings of the (Andhra Pradesh) High Court including the roster of few Honourable Judges”.
Reddy’s letter, which also pointed fingers at some of the judges of the High Court, alleged judicial impropriety on the part of Justice Ramana and raised questions on land transactions in Amaravati, allegedly involving members of his family. He also alleged that TDP leaders were being shielded from probes his government had ordered.
Days later, Justice Ramana, who is next in line to be the CJI, said, “it is an important quality for a judge to withstand all pressures and odds and to stand up bravely against all obstacles”.
Last month, Attorney General K K Venugopal declined consent to initiate proceedings against Reddy for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court, but noted that the “timing” of Reddy’s letter to the CJI, complaining against Justice Ramana, and the state government’s move to make it public “could certainly be said to be suspect” given that Justice Ramana had ordered expeditious trial of cases against legislators.
On November 25, the Supreme Court, while hearing a plea by the Reddy government, stayed the Andhra Pradesh High Court order restraining the media from reporting the Amaravati land deal FIR registered by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau. It directed that the matter be listed for hearing again in the last week of January 2021.
Incidentally, in 2017, Jasti Naga Bhushan’s father Justice Chelameswar, had alleged “unwarranted intimacy between the executive and the judiciary’’ over the appointment of six High Court judges for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He claimed that objections to the appointments raised by then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Justice Ramana were similar.
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