Thursday, December 3, 2020

AP HC Judge calls 3-capitals decision ‘mindless’

  • Says it was his personal opinion
  • Comments on the proposal to shift high court to Kurnool

Amaravati: There is an extraordinary development in Andhra Pradesh High Court while hearing pertitions on habeas corpus and police excess. The bench consisting of Justices Rakesh Kumar and Uma Devi has directed the government council to submit whether the court can record evidences of the constitutional breakdown in the background of existing situation in the State. This comment by a judge has enlarged the gap that is seen developing between the executive and the judiciary in Andhra Pradesh over the months. The letter written by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had thrown light on the gulf between the two pillars of the democratic edifice. A situation has arisen in Andhra Pradesh, as in no other State in the country, that the judges in the high court make oral comments on the performance and decisions of the government.

“on the next hearing date, the learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the State may come prepared to assist the Court as to whether in the circumstances that are prevailing in Andhra Pradesh, the court can record a finding that there is a constitutional breakdown in the State or not, ”said the bench on 1 October 2020. Since then, the judges have been dealing with different cases in a peculiar manner.

Justice Rakesh Kumar who was presiding over the  bench on Friday, 20 November 2020, made certain caustic remarks  orally on the way the government headed by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been functioning. The judge called the decision of the government to go for three capitals ‘mindless’as crores of money had already been spent on the present capital, Amaravati. AP senior counsel SSP Prasad had given back in the same coin when he said ‘now a days, the courts are forgetting their role and overstepping their jurisdiction.’ He also said the learned judge was part of a bigger bench which heard the cases pertaining to trifurcation of the capital into judicial, legislative and executive branches so he cannot make comments like this.

According to livelaw news network, Justice Rakesh Kumar further said the present building housing the high court was inaugurated by the chief justice of India. The counsel replied that many advocates wondered why the high court was shifted to a desert like place. At this stage, Justice Kumar said he was expressing his personal views.

Justice Rakesh Kumar has a record of overreach and outspoken attitude. He was involved in controversy in Patna high court. Before he was transferred to Amaravati from Patna last year, he created a furore in the high court by calling the court full of corruption and asking CBI to inquire into it. An eleven judges bench had been formed and it commented that Justice Kumar had indulged in administrative and judicial overreach. The judge is not new to controversies. The AP high court is not new to making remarks against the government. The gulf appears to be widening by the day.

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