STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Vs. RAJADHANI RYTHU PARIRAKSHANA SAMITHI
LAWS(APH)-2022-3-25
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 03,2022

STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
Rajadhani Rythu Parirakshana Samithi Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.) A "sincere" senior most I.A.S. officer, who is working as Special Chief Secretary to the Government, Y.Srilakshmi, who is familiar to the public of both states i.e. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for her honesty while discharging her duties, filed this petition with a request to two judges out of three judges viz. Justice M.Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice D.V.S.S.Somayajulu to recuse/withdraw from hearing the writ petitions and to prove their qualification to hear the lis pending before this Court on the ground that two judges i.e. Justice M.Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice D.V.S.S.Somayajulu were allotted house plot of an extent of 600 Sq.Yards each by the Government in Nelapadu, which is within the limits of Capital Region Development Authority, now Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority and thereby have financial interest in the subject matter. There is a possibility of increase or decrease of value of the land depending upon the result of the writ petitions and proposed shifting of High Court from Nelapadu to Kurnool will have its own impact on the value of the property possessed by two judges on allotment by the then Government, requested to recuse/withdraw from hearing of the case.
(2.) The major ground urged before this Court is that two judges i.e. Justice M.Satyanarayana Murthy and Justice D.V.S.S.Somayajulu have a "pecuniary interest"  in the litigation. It is no doubt true that these judges purchased property by paying Rs.30,00,000.00 i.e. prevailing market value. The land was not allotted by the State on a concessional price to these two Judges alone, but is based on the market value and is the result of an allotment to 14 Judges in all. The State executed a sale deed in favour of two judges as alleged in the petition along with sale deeds in favour of other twelve judges as a policy decision. Would it create any pecuniary interest in the litigation is to be examined by this Court in view of the serious allegations made against the two judges? At this stage, it is necessary to refer to the contents of various documents filed before this Court.
(3.) Background facts which are not mentioned in the affidavit: On 8/12/2018, the Secretary to Government (Political), General Administration Department, A.P.Secretariat addressed a letter vide Ltr.No.GAD01PERSOMISC/194/SC.E/2018 to the Common High Court proposing to allot house sites to the Hon'ble Judges, Judicial Officers and Staff working in the High court of Andhra Pradesh. In response to the said letter, the Registrar General addressed a letter to the Secretary to Government (Political), General Administration Department, A.P.Secretariat stating that the proposal to allot house sites to the Hon'ble Judges, Judicial Officers and staff working in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh was accepted by the Administrative Committee on 14/2/2019, and the decision of the Administrative Committee was also placed before Full Court and the Full Court has approved the decision of the Administrative Committee on 20/2/2019.;


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