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Andhra bristles at Sorabjee?s remark

The state government decided to complain against Sorabjee to Abdul Kalam and the SC, reports Ashok Das

india Updated: Oct 17, 2006 05:36 IST

The Andhra Pradesh government has taken exception to former attorney general of India Soli J Sorabjee’s statement finding fault with the state government for passing a “wrong” order that led to granting of clemency to murder accused G Venkat Reddy. Last week, the Supreme Court had quashed the clemency.

The state government decided to complain against Sorabjee to President APJ Abdul Kalam and the Supreme Court.

In 2002, a sessions court had convicted Venkat Reddy and seven others of murdering E Chinaramasubbaiah and L Ambi Reddy. But Venkat Reddy was set free on August 11, 2005, after Governor Sushil Kumar Shinde granted him pardon. Sorabjee, who was in the city to deliver the 21st Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial Lecture on Saturday, had told reporters that the state Cabinet would have to own up responsibility for the episode and the “office of Governor does not come into the picture at all.” The Governor would act on the advice of the Cabinet, which would decide whether the advice was based on “relevant” or “irrelevant” issues, he had said.

Sorabjee’s statements, which embarrassed Chief Minister YS Rajsekhar Reddy, came up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting that lasted for two hours on Monday. The cabinet unanimously decided to complain against Sorabjee to the President and the Supreme Court, after consulting legal experts. The cabinet felt Sorabjee should not have made the comment as he was amicus curiae in the Venkat Reddy case. The former attorney general had made the remark in the presence of TDP leader and former CBI director K Vijayarama Rao. Sources in the government thought his tone and tenor was that of an opposition leader. Sources said it was the chief minister, who decided on the clemency, not the cabinet. The clemency issue had never come up for discussion in the cabinet and Sorabjee found fault with the cabinet without knowing the facts,they said.

First Published: Oct 17, 2006 05:36 IST