Amid Jagan Reddy letter row, Andhra Chief Justice transferred


New Delhi, Dec 16 : In a major reshuffle, in wake of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy writing a letter to Chief Justice S.A. Bobde seeking his intervention to restore neutrality of the High Court, the apex court collegium, in December 14 meeting, has recommended the transfer of the state's Chief Justice J.K. Maheshwari to the Sikkim High Court. Sikkim High Court's Chief Justice A. K. Goswami will replace Justice Maheshwari. The Sikkim High Court has a sanctioned strength of three judges, and the Andhra Pradesh High Court has a sanctioned strength of 37 judges. The Andhra Pradesh Police had lodged a case against the daughters of the top court's second senior-most judge, Justice N. V. Ramana and the state's former Advocate General in an alleged land scam. The police action came after Justice Ramana ordered expediting trials in pending criminal cases against sitting and former lawmakers. However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had passed a gag order on the reporting of the case. Reddy, in an unprecedented move, wrote a letter to the Chief Justice, alleging that the Andhra Pradesh High Court was being used as an instrument to destabilise and topple democratically elected government. He urged the Chief Justice to consider taking appropriate steps to ensure that the state judiciary's neutrality is maintained. The chief minister alleged that the senior apex court judge had proximity to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. The apex court collegium, which is headed by CJI Bobde, has also recommended elevation of Punjab and Haryana High Court's Justice S. Muralidhar as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, and of Delhi High Court's Justice Hima Kohli as the Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. Calcutta High Court's Justice Sanjib Banerjee has been elevated to the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Allahabad High Court's Justice Pankaj Mithal as the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, and Uttarakhand High Court's Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia as the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court. The collegium also transferred Chief Justice of Telangana High Court Justice R.S. Chauhan to the Uttarakhand High Court, and Chief Justice Mohammed Rafiq of the Orissa High Court to the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Madhya Pradesh High Court's Justice Sanjay Yadav was transferred to Allahabad High Court, Jammu and High Court's Justice Rajesh Bindal to the Calcutta High Court, Madras High Court's Justice Vineet Kothari to the Gujarat High Court, Calcutta High Court's Justice Joymala Bagchi to the Andhra Pradesh High Court, and Madhya Pradesh High Court's Justice Satish Chandra Sharma to Karnataka High Court. /IANS


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