New Delhi, Dec 1 : A former Andhra Pradesh High Court judge, Justice V. Eswaraiah, has moved the Supreme Court challenging an order of the high court, which directed a probe into an alleged phone conversation between him and a suspended trial court magistrate. It has been alleged that this phone call disclosed a serious conspiracy against the Chief Justice of the high court and a senior sitting judge of the Supreme Court.
The plea filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan contended that the allegation that there was corruption in a private conversation or that a certain judge may be involved in the act of corruption, did not amount to a plot or a conspiracy to malign the reputation of the highest judiciary.
Justice Eswaraiah has sought a stay on the August 13 order of the high court which directed an enquiry into the conversation between Eswaraiah and the suspended magistrate.
Eswaraiah, who is also the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Higher Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission, in his plea has argued that the high court has committed an error by ordering an enquiry into secretly recorded conversation in an unverified pen-drive to conclude a plot was hatched against the judges. He added that the order has been passed without sending a notice to him and also caused him undue harassment.
"The petitioner has openly exposed various improper acts of the sitting judge of the Supreme Court in various press conferences in the past, which he considered against judicial propriety and a misuse of power, such as his close proximity to the former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu," said the plea.
The high court had requested former Supreme Court judge Justice R.V. Raveendran to look into the matter.
The plea contended that it is a fact that this impropriety has also been raised by other former judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Therefore, this cannot in any manner amount to a secret undisclosed conspiracy, warranting any enquiry. According to the plea, the phone conversation purportedly pertained to the corruption allegations in the Amaravati land scam.
The former judge has contended that the high court order was "unwarranted" since his conversation was a "perfect legitimate" and "bona-fide view" about the senior Supreme Court judge, which he has put forth in many statements and press conferences.
Recently, the Andhra Pradesh government had ordered an FIR against prominent people, including two daughters of the top court judge, in the Amravati land transfer scam. This FIR was later stayed by the high court. The state government's appeal against this order is pending consideration before the top court.