The remarks come a week after Jagan Mohan Reddy’s Principal Advisor Ajeya Kallam released to the media the CM’s October 6 letter to the CJI, alleging that Justice Ramana “has been influencing the sittings of the (Andhra Pradesh) High Court including the roster of few Honourable Judges”.
Slamming the Chief Minister for his “blatant attempt to shake the confidence of the public at large in the judiciary,” Upadhyay said, “Reddy has crossed the line which separates Judiciary and Executive”.
The ruling came on a plea by a Delhi resident against an order of the Delhi High Court setting aside a trial court decision allowing his plea to evict his daughter-in-law from the first floor of his property in New Friends Colony.
Defending freedom of the press, the Centre’s affidavit said spread of Covid-19 among attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat convention at the Nizamuddin Markaz, attacks on health workers by some sections etc, were all matters of fact and that “news reports based on facts... cannot be censored”.
The bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishan Murari said the court had deputed senior advocate Sanjay R Hegde and mediator-trainer Sadhana Ramachandran in its “endeavour of pursuing an out of the box solution”.
More than two years before this order, the bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Rohinton F Nariman, on April 19, 2017, described the demolition of the Babri Masjid as “crimes which shake the secular fabric of the Constitution of India”.
The petitioners have sought “removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised” on it “by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf”.
“Judges have to balance their social life in order to be independent. It is completely upon the judge to maintain such self-imposed restrictions. As judges are self-restrained from speaking out in their own defence, they are now being construed as soft targets for criticism," said N V Ramana.
The panel, led by BJP MP Bhupender Yadav, is of the view that the court is “more a service than a place” and that advocates must “keep up with the changing times” as technology will “emerge as a game changer”.
For critics, from the bench to the Bar, experts to courtwatchers, he became emblematic of a court that has diluted its check-and-balance role when it comes to questioning the Executive. His supporters, however, argue that much of this criticism has a political motive — and his record is more nuanced.
However, the court allowed states and Union Territories, which may have postponed the exams in view of the Covid outbreak, to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) for extension of the September 30 deadline.
The bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, while considering a supplementary statement filed by Bhushan, said criticism is welcome, but one “should not attribute motives to judges” since they cannot go to the press to defend themselves and “can only speak through our judgments”.