NR Ramesh’s counsel to file objections by April 1; CJ says he will have to summon ex-Chief Secretary
The legal face-off between former BJP party leader and former corporator NR Ramesh and BBMP Chief Engineer BS Prahallad doesn’t look like ending anytime soon, as Ramesh, the petitioner in the case before the High Court, seems determined to go ahead with his demand for an enquiry against Prahallad. This, despite the Chief Justice holding out the prospect of withdrawal of the petition to the BJP leader’s counsel.
A bench of Chief Justice AS Oka and judge-designate MGS Kamal, at a hearing on Wednesday, said it had asked the Chief Secretary (referred to in a letter before the court) to appear in person, but before that would allow the petitioner’s advocate to file objections by April 1 and ordered the matter to be listed on April 8.
In a five-minute hearing before the CJ-led bench, Ramesh’s counsel D Aswathappa said, “You (the CJ) suggested to me whether my client will withdraw the petition or not. But the letter (by the then BBMP Commissioner addressed to the ACS, Urban Development Department, in which the (then) Chief Secretary was referred to) produced by the respondent (Prahallad) dated 24/9/2019…” “…With respect to that, the submission after reading their objections (is) they have made some serious, reckless allegations against my client, stating that the he is directly taking money from all the BBMP officials. Hence, he doesn’t want to withdraw the application.”
In response, the Chief Juistice said it was ultimately the petitioner’s choice whether he wanted to continue with the petition. “Then, I have to issue notice to the person (Chief Secretary) who is named in the letter,” the CJ said.
Following this, Aswathappa said that “if some ‘protection’ is given vis-a-vis the allegations made by respondent No 5 (Prahallad), we can go ahead and withdraw the petition. Otherwise, I have to file objections to the allegations.”
In his order, the CJ said, “Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, on the instructions of the petitioner, states that the petitioner wants to prosecute the petition.”
The order further stated, “Learned counsel appearing for petitioner states that he will file a reply to objections filed by the fifth respondent. Reply shall be filed by April 1 and list the petition on April 8.”
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