No need to probe Justice Eswaraiah WhatsApp chat: Supreme Court

AP High Court had ordered inquiry to establish authenticity

The Supreme Court on Monday found no reason for an inquiry into a WhatsApp chat between retired Andhra High Court judge, Justice V. Eswaraiah, and a suspended judicial officer about alleged benami transactions in the Amaravati land scam case.

A Bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy said the High Court order for an inquiry by retired apex court judge, Justice RV Raveendran, was unwarranted as Justice Eswaraiah himself was admitted to having had the conversation.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed an inquiry into the transcript to find out the authenticity or genuineness of the conversation implied in a pen drive.

“… We are of the view that the direction by the High Court calling for a report from Justice RV Raveendran need not be allowed to continue. We order accordingly, the court said.

During the hearing, prominent members of the Supreme Court Bar like senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Vipin Nair had sought a thorough investigation into the chat.

“We are of the view that the High Court ought not to have embarked on any other inquiry in the matter, except to the maintainability of the PIL at the instance of the writ petitioner and the conversation dated July 20, 2020 filed before the High Court as well, as the inquiry report sought was only with the above purpose, ”the apex court said.

It clarified that it had neither entered into the merits of the writ petition (pending before HC), nor was it expressing any opinion on the maintainability of the PIL.


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