Friday, 26 May 2017

Fresh move to impeach Justice Nagarjuna Reddy news

Over 60 members of the Rajya Sabha, cutting across party lines, have submitted a motion seeking the initiation of impeachment proceedings against Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy of the High Court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
This is the second attempt by members of the Upper House to remove Justice Nagarjuna Reddy. The first one made by 61 MPs on December 5 last failed after 19 signatories withdrew.
Allegations against the judge include interfering in the judicial process in several cases; and caste slurs, including death threats against Dalit Junior Civil Judge Sanku Rama Krishna at the courts in Rayachoti, a town in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district. Rayachoti is also Justice Nagarjuna Reddy’s hometown.
Sources told The Hindu that one of the Rajya Sabha members who actively canvassed support for the process said members this time would not withdraw their names, which have already been submitted to Chairman Hamid Ansari. Some of the MPs who signed the motion told The Hindu that Mr. Ansari has admitted the motion and sought the advice of Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar.
The next step in the process is for the Vice President to constitute a three-member committee under the 1968 Judges (Inquiry) Act, which generally consists of a sitting Supreme Court judge and a High Court Chief Justice and and eminent jurist. This is done in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The committee will function like a trial court, examining the accusations against Justice Reddy and ruling whether they are well founded. Thereafter, it will advise in favour or against the judge’s removal.
The committee’s decision will then be placed in both Houses of Parliament for a vote, and would require a two-third majority of MPs present voting in favour of the motion in the same session, or an absolute majority of a joint session, for the judge to be removed.
Article 124 (4) of the Constitution stipulates that a minimum of 50 Rajya Sabha members or double that number from the Lok Sabha are required as signatories to initiate impeachment, the only means to remove judges from office in the country’s higher judiciary.
When initiated, Justice Nagarjuna Reddy will be only the fifth judge of the higher judiciary to face impeachment.Reporting on the accusations against the judge, the Frontline, quoting the aborted first motion signed by 61 MPs said, “Pavan Reddy set his domestic help on fire in a fit of rage, leading to his death on November 20, 2012. This, he said was because Ramanjulu, Pavan Reddy’s domestic help refused to cooperate in a cover up of the use of a Forest Department vehicle for smuggling sandalwood. The dying declaration narrated by Ramanjulu to Rama Krishna accessed by a Guntur-based non-profit under RTI shows it was recorded around 8 p.m. on November 20, 2012 at the Government Area Hospital, Rayachoti. Rama Krishna claimed that Justice Reddy called him ten days later demanding that he drop his brother’s name from the dying declaration.”

Justice Nagarjuna Reddy’s brother Pavan Kumar Reddy has been the Additional Public Prosecutor at the District Courts at Rayachoti, the former’s home town, for over a decade now.
The second motion submitted to Vice President Ansari has the signatures of MPs from the ruling BJP, SP, BSP, the CPI (M), the TDP and the Congress.