Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: Battu Devanand, J., while addressing the instant matter, observed that,

The government is not supposed to spend public money as per their whims and fancies as public money is accrued from the payment of the taxpayers.

Discontinuation of Pensions

175 Petitioners filed the petition seeking direction declaring the action of respondents in discontinuing pensions to them as illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and against the rules governing the distribution of pensions and direct all the respondents to distribute arrears of pension to the petitioners and continue to pay them thereafter.

Another petitioner consisting of 5 petitioners filed the petition against the respondent’s action to stop old aged/widow pensions.

Decision

The Government of Andhra Pradesh vide its order said that the Government of Andhra Pradesh is implementing various pension schemes as part of its welfare programmes for most needy and vulnerable people i.e., the persons in old age, widows, people with disabilities and weavers to provide them some succor.

Court stated that on perusal of the Government Order, it is clear that as part of welfare programmes the Government is implementing various social security pension schemes for the benefit of needy and vulnerable sections of the people to provide them some succor.

“…attempt of the government to implement these “Social security pension schemes” to provide the people belong to vulnerable sections to provide some succor is undoubtedly laudable.”

Bench emphasized the fact that the Government is the trustee of public money and is empowered to utilize the public money in a proper manner for the benefit of the public at large.

Supreme Court’s decision in Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India, (1979) 3 SCC 489 was also referred, wherein the following was held:

“The discretion of the government has been held to be not unlimited in that the government cannot give or withhold largess in its arbitrary discretion or at its sweet will.”

Public Money

Further, the High Court also noted the fact that earlier crores of public money was spent on different activities in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

In view of the above Court stated that,

Did any person in the State ask the State Government to spend a thousand crores of rupees for organising “Godavari and Krishna Pushkaralu”? 

Did any Christian ask for “CHRISTMAS KANUKALU ?”

Did any Muslim request for “RAMJAN THOFA?”

At present, thousands of crores of rupees are being sent under various pogrammes stating that it is for the welfare of the people. 

One has to question himself whether the public money is being utilized properly as it seems to be.

Unreasonable to stop payment of meager amount

Hence, the Bench held that Court is of the opinion that while spending crores of rupees of public money for all the programmes as stated above, it is unreasonable to stop payment of meager amount being paid towards social security pension in favour of the petitioners.

Court to fortify its view cited the Supreme Court decision in, Raghunath Thakur v. State of Bihar, (1989) 1 SCC 229, wherein the following was held:

“…a person adversely affected by order has right of being heard and making representations against order, even though rules do not provide so expressly”.

Social Security

Concluding with its’ analysis, Court held that stopping payment of social security to the petitioners without conducting any enquiry or without issuing any notice is illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and against the object of the social security pension scheme and against the principles of natural justice.

Two directions have been passed by the Bench in the above petitions:

  • Respondents are directed to make payment of pension to the petitioners from the month when it was stopped to till date within a period of 15 days.
  • Respondents are directed to continue the payment of the pension every month.

[Seepana Govindamma v. State of Andhra Pradesh, WP No. 21104 of 2019, decided on 08-09-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of M. Satyanarayana Murthy and Lalitha Kanneganti, JJ., ordered an enquiry into a conversation contained in pen-drive disclosing some material about designing a plot against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and another sitting Judge of the Supreme Court.

Court stated that,

“Unfortunately, today it is an unpleasant or gloomy day in the history of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, because the High court itself has to ward-off the brazen onslaught from the third parties to demean the prestige of the pristine judicial institution in the eye of litigant public.”

Audio conversation contained in the pen drive disclosed that it was a serious conspiracy against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court by designing a plot and sent a petition by the person who had a conversation with a person named S. Ramakrishna allegedly, but signed by Secretary of BC/SC/ST Association.

The said person insisted on Sri S. Ramakrishna to collect material against another senior most sitting Judge of the Supreme Court to mar his future career.

Bench stated that since the plot is designed against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court with malafide intention unless the authenticity of the contents is established, Court cannot proceed against anyone.

Further, the Court observed that the way as to how the conversation between the two persons took place, would prima facie establish that there was a conspiracy against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and Senior-most Judge of Supreme Court, pernicious acts of the person who made such allegation to be discouraged. Otherwise, the public may lose faith in the Courts.

Conversation discloses use of intemperate language against two senior most sitting Judges of the Supreme Court and it is a matter of serious concern.

Such conversation will certinly crumble the confidence of the public on Courts and system itself.

Further, the Court added that in the judicial process, it is the solemn duty of the Court to unravel the truth. In the present matter, only way to unravel the truth is to order necessary enquiry.

Truth should be the Guiding Star in the entire judicial process.

Hence, Court found the present case to be appropriate for ordering enquiry to find out the authenticity of the conversation contained in the pen-drive.

Therefore, Justice Raveendran, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India is requested to hold an enquiry to find out the authenticity of the conversation, with regard to the plot designed against the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and being designed against senior most sitting Judges of the Supreme Court and undisclosed interest of the third parties.

Director of CBI and Director of Intelligence Bureau are directed to depute responsible officers of the department to collect information from the agencies pertaining to the conversation contained in the pen-drive and other material collected from the Registry and submit the same to Justice R.V. Raveendran, retired Judge of Supreme Court of India.

Matter to be listed in 4 weeks.[BC, SC, ST Minority Student Federation v. Union Of India, 2020 SCC OnLine AP 652, decided on 13-08-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

High Court of Andhra Pradesh – Suspension of functioning of the High Court, and Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Unit, Vijayawada, till 28.06.2020

Functioning of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is suspended till 28.06.2020 (Sunday) due to outbreak of COVID-19. The work of Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Unit, Vijayawada, Krishna District, is also suspended till 28.06.2020.

NOTIFICATION


Andhra Pradesh High Court

Notification dt. 25-06-2020

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints following to be the Judges of Andhra Pardesh High Court in the order of seniority, with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices:

  • Boppudi Krishna Mohan
  • Kanchireddy Suresh Reddy
  • Kanneganti Lalithakumari alias Lalitha

Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 01-05-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints the following as the Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court:

  • Rao Raghunandan Rao
  • Battu Devanand
  • Donadi Ramesh
  • Ninala Jayasurya

Ministry of Law and Justice 

[Notification dt. 10-01-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for the appointment of following 4 Advocates as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and 3 Advocates as Judges of the Telangana High Court:

1 Shri R. Raghunandan Rao (A.P.),
2 Shri T. Vinod Kumar (Telangana),
3 Shri Battu Devanand (A.P.),
4 Shri D. Ramesh (A.P.),
5 Shri A. Abhishek Reddy (Telangana),
6 Shri N. Jayasurya (A.P.) and
7 Shri K. Lakshman (Telangana)

On the basis of interaction, material on record and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ. is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) R. Raghunandan Rao, (2) T. Vinod Kumar, (3) Battu Devanand, (4) D. Ramesh, (5) A. Abhishek Reddy, (6) N. Jayasurya and (7) K. Lakshman are suitable for being elevated to the High Court Bench.

Therefore, in view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that:

(i) S/Shri (1) R. Raghunandan Rao, (2) Battu Devanand, (3) D. Ramesh and (4) N. Jayasurya be appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice; and

(ii) S/Shri (1) T. Vinod Kumar, (2) A. Abhishek Reddy and (3) K. Lakshman be appointed as Judges of the Telangana High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


[Collegium Resolution dt. 25-07-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints the following as the Judges of Andhra Pradesh High Court:

  • Shri Cheekati Manvendranath Roy
  • Shri Matam Venkata Ramana,

in that order of seniority, with effect from the date, they assume charge of their respective offices.


[Notification dt. 12-06-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of following four Judicial Officers as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and three Judicial Officers as Judges of the Telangana High Court:

1 Ms. B.S. Bhanumathi (A.P.)
2 Shri Ch. Manavendranath Roy (A.P.)
3 Smt. P. Sree Sudha (Telangana)
4 Shri M.Venkata Ramana (A.P.)
5 Smt. C. Sumalatha (Telangana)
6 Shri A. Hari Haranadha Sarma (A.P.)
7 Shri N. Tukaramji (Telangana)

In order to ascertain suitability of the above-named recommendees mentioned at Sl. Nos. 3, 5 and 7 above, for elevation to the Telangana High Court, we have consulted our colleague conversant with the affairs of the Telangana High Court.

As regards recommendees at Sl. Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 6 above, there is no sitting Judge in the Supreme Court outside the Collegium for being consulted for this purpose.

“The Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) Ch. Manavendranath Roy, and (2) M. Venkata Ramana (mentioned at Sl. Nos. 2 and 4 above) are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.”

As regards (1) Ms. B.S. Bhanumathi, (2) Smt. P. Sree Sudha, (3) Smt. C. Sumalatha (4) Shri A. Hari Haranadha Sarma, and (5) Shri N. Tukaramji (mentioned at Sl. Nos.1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 above), consideration of the proposal for their elevation is deferred for the present.

Collegium resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Ch. Manavendranath Roy, and (2) M. Venkata Ramana, Judicial Officers, be appointed as Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.


Collegium Resolutions

[Dated: 15-04-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

Andhra Pradesh High Court: Justice Vikram Nath, Judge, Allahabad High Court as Chief Justice in Andhra Pradesh High Court

Justice Vikram Nath is the senior-most Judge from Allahabad High Court and is functioning in that High Court since his elevation. Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium finds Mr Justice Vikram Nath suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly.

While making the above recommendation the Collegium is conscious of the fact consequent upon the proposed appointment there will be three Chief Justices from the Allahabad High Court, which is the largest High Court in the country with the sanctioned strength of 160 Judges.


[Dated: 8-04-2019]

Collegium Resolutions

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, is pleased to transfer Shri Justice Sarasa Venkatanarayana Bhatti, Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, as a Judge of the Kerala High Court and to direct him to assume charge of his office in the Kerala High Court on or before 19th March, 2019.

[Notification dt. 05-03-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Andhra Pradesh High Court: While dealing with the question relating to grant of Arms license, the Court quashed the order of State Government of rejecting the application of Petitioner for grant of Arms License.

The Petitioner in this case had filed an application before the Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad Commissionerate which was rejected. The State Government also rejected the application in its appeal phase. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the impugned order is highly illegal, arbitrary, unreasonable, violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and opposed to the very spirit and object of the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959. But the learned Government Pleader vehemently contended that the impugned rejection order is in accordance with the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959. The bench comprising of A. V. Sesha Sai J minutely studied various sections of The Arms Act and analyzed that the  intention of the legislature is that the licensing authority should apply his mind while considering the request of the applicant for grant of Arms License and to arrive at a decision independently, taking into account facts and circumstances of the case and basing on the material available. The Court finally concluded that  the said order, is opposed to and not in conformity with the provisions of law, as such, the said order cannot be sustained.

 The Court also took account of the test to be applied by the licensing authority in considering grant of arms license which was laid down in another Judgment that is  whether the applicant has established his credentials as a law abiding person leading a peaceful life without any criminal record and whether any circumstances exist by which it can be reasonably presumed that there is a potential danger of misuse of the weapon leading to breach of peace and safety of the society. Once these two tests are satisfied an application for grant of license shall not ordinarily be rejected.  In the instant case, the State Government did not consider properly the relevant provisions of the legislation and the material available on record and the principles laid down in the above referred judgment and was thus quashed. [Kolan narasimha Reddy v.  State of Andhra Pradesh 2016 SCC OnLine Hyd 153, decided on 14.06.2016]