Impeachment bid assault on judiciary

Legal experts slam culture of frivolous complaints.

Hyderabad: A former High Court judge and prominent members of the advocate fraternity have condemned the attempts by politicians to malign and impeach Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy and see it as an effort to take away the independence of the judiciary by encouraging frivolous complaints which have no basis or evidence.

Former judge of the AP High Court Justice P. Laxmana Reddy:
The whole episode of some Rajya Sabha members petitioning the House Chairman seeking impeachment of Justice Nagarjuna Reddy without having knowledge of the issues and later deciding to withdraw their plea is very unfortunate and serious. This is a good instrument but a few politicians have caused great damage to the judge and the whole judiciary. If some ruling party is aggrieved by a judgement, it can threaten a judge with impeachment notices and get away with it. In such a case, which judge will act fearlessly in discharging his duties? If allegations are made against a particular politician, he will rush to the media with a rebuttal. The same protection of defending or refuting the allegations is not allowed for a judge. In this case, the magistrate concerned has done serious mischief. Allegations pertain to 2012. The AP High Court conducted a trial on his allegations against Justice Nagarjuna Reddy and found everything was false. The magistrate was transferred. Aggrieved by this, he again went to court and filed some more cases. Again the High Court dismissed all these and even suspended the magistrate. Contempt of court proceedings were also initiated against him.

Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana:
Supreme Court judge Justice N.V. Ramana, when he was acting Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court, had suspended the magistrate. Without going into all these details, without even having a discreet independent inquiry into the allegations, the MPs directly signed a petition and submitted it to the Rajya Sabha Chairman. It is very unfortunate and should never have happened. What is the solace for Justice Nagarjuna Reddy who has suffered immense damage to his reputation? What about the damage done to the judiciary? Unless there is protection for higher judicial officers, how can we expect them to act independently, fearlessly?

N. Ramachandra Rao, BJP MLC; member, Bar Council of India:
Members of Parliament should have verified facts before rushing with a notice for the impeachment of Justice Nagarjuna Reddy. The fact that they first made a complaint and later some MPs decided to withdraw complaint clearly shows that they had not applied their mind before signing the petition. By this act they have not only caused serious damage to the reputation of Justice Nagarjuna Reddy, who is considered one of the best judicial officers in the state, but equally damaged the institution of the judiciary. This is a dangerous trend. Now which judge will act independently and fearlessly? In fact the magistrate had already filed petitions with the High Court and after proper trial he was suspended. MPs should have verified all this before rushing with the notice for impeachment of a reputed High Court judge.

A. Narasimha Reddy, chairman, Bar Council of AP:
It is a very disturbing trend. Encouraging such frivolous attempts would have a huge adverse impact on the functioning of judges. There are lots of remedies available in the judicial system. Straightaway giving an impeachment notice without exhausting other options would not be proper or justified.

P. Veera Reddy, senior counsel, Hyderabad High Court:
Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy has been a highly principled and highly judicious judge who believes that honesty and integrity in discharging duties as a judge will protect the society. Justice Reddy maintains dignity and decorum of the seat he occupies without fear or favour. The fact that there is not even a single complaint from any litigant or advocate who appeared before him indicates the way he maintains the high standards of principles and ethics.

L. Ravichander: senior advocate:
“It is indeed a very tragic incident involving one of the senior-most judges who literally wore his credibility on his sleeve. It becomes a dangerous precedent when power groups begin to use arm-twisting tactics to get the judicial system in tune with their expectations or requirements. Justice Nagarjuna Reddy has always been known for his high integrity. The incident is not so much about an individual and reflects how even the hard route of impeachment can be abused in our country. He said perhaps there is need to revisit the Constitution and examine how the procedure to impeachment may be amended. To leave the entire process to the strength of Parliament could in future lead to a dangerous scenario where a strict judge falls prey to the whims and fancies of members of Parliament.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story