Fate of judge who quit after acquitting Assemanand not yet clear

The fate of the judge, who quit hours after exonerating Hindutva preacher Swami Assemanand and four others in the Mecca Masjid blast case yesterday, was unclear today as speculation swirled over the reason for his surprise action.

There was no official word on whether his resignation has been accepted, with a top official of the Hyderabad High Court saying instructions have been issued not to go public about the issue.

“Instructions have been issued not to speak about the issue,” the official, who did not want to be named said. He, however, acknowledged the matter was discussed at the level of the chief justice of the high court.

Speculation was rife in the judicial circles in Hyderabad that K Ravinder Reddy, the special judge for NIA cases, might have put in his papers to protest allotment of judges from Andhra Pradesh to the subordinate courts in Telangana.

The Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge had put in his papers to the Metropolitan Sessions Judge citing “personal reasons” for his abrupt decision, which was termed as “intriguing” by Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Reddy had reportedly invited the wrath of the high court in 2016 when he participated in a protest for setting up a separate high court for Telangana and against the posting of judges from Andhra Pradesh to subordinate courts in the new state.

“He was among the 11 subordinate court judges who were suspended by the Hyderabad High Court in June 2016 for protesting appointment of the judges who hail from Andhra Pradesh to the courts in Telangana and over the demand for setting up a separate high court for Telangana,” a source in the Telangana Federation of Bar Association said.

The Hyderabad High Court — which is common for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — had in June 2016 suspended the 11 judges on disciplinary grounds for participating in the agitation. Lawyers and judicial employees from Telangana had also participated in the agitation. The suspension was, however, revoked the next month.

Amid speculation over the timing of Reddy’s resignation, a senior judicial officer had said yesterday it had “nothing” to do with the judgement in the Mecca Masjid blast case.

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