Hyderabad: The Attorney General of India, K.K Venugopal, has declined consent to initiate criminal contempt against the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy, and his advisor Ajeya Kellam for making public allegations against Supreme Court Justice N.V Ramana.

The AG has opined that the conduct of Jagan and his advisor was prima facie contumacious but as the Chief Justice of India is 'seized of the matter' it would not be appropriate for him to deal with the same. The application seeking AG's consent to initiate criminal contempt was filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay.

Mr. Venugopal said Jagan's letter on 6 October and its release by Ajeya Kallam at a press conference held on 10 October was 'suspect' because they came in the background of the order passed by Justice N.V Ramana dated 16 September, directing pending prosecutions of elected representatives to be taken up and disposed of expeditiously.

In this context, the Attorney General referred to Upadhyay's statement that Jagan had 31 criminal cases against him. In this background, prima facie, the conduct of the said persons is contumacious, Mr. Venugopal said.

While noting that the letter contained 'objectionable statements', Mr. Venugopal said, "I find that the objectionable statements have been made in a letter dated 6 October written by the Chief Minister to the Chief Justice of India."

The Attorney General was responding to a petition filed by Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for his prior consent under the Contempt of Court Act to initiate proceedings against Jagan and Mr. Kallam.

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