New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Singh is known for his role in setting up the Hyderabad-based International Arbitration and Mediation Center (IAMC) during his tenure as CJI. Sriram Panchu launched an attack on Ramanna and has resigned from the panel of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. In his resignation letter, he vehemently attacked Ramanna and raised many issues. Sriram Panchu is a key arbitrator of this organization and a senior advocate of the Madras High Court.
Panchu’s resignation comes after SIMC announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IAMC last month. Following this agreement, both have been allowed to form a partnership for further arbitration. SIMC also announced that Ramanna has been appointed as an “expert arbitrator” on the panel of international arbitrators.
Then, on August 31, Panchu sent a letter resigning from SIMC’s international panel in protest against Ramanna’s appointment. The letter, seen by ThePrint, said Panchu is “surprised, shocked and saddened” by SIMC’s decision to associate with the former CJI.
He wrote, “I do not want to be part of any panel where Mr. Ramanna is a member. Also, I do not want to be a part of any such organization where he is associated in any way.
The IAMC was inaugurated by Chief Justice Ramanna in 2021 at Nanakramguda on the outskirts of Hyderabad. At that time he was the Chief Justice of India. Since then, the IAMC has been the subject of great controversy.
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Last year it became the subject of a public war of words between several senior lawyers. It was started by Panchu The thread It happened from an article written where many concerns were highlighted.
Their article emphasized that this reflected a tendency for judges to “use judicial service to benefit their former colleagues or themselves in post-retirement benefits.” It also said the trust had “apparently sought land from the Telangana State government, which it gladly accepted”.
While Justice Nageswara Rao is retiring in June 2022, Justice Kohli is still the sitting judge of the Supreme Court and will retire next year. Meanwhile, former CJI Ramanna will retire in August 2022.
Panchu’s article was rebutted by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge K. This was done in a counter article by Kannan and another article by senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, both published in LiveLaw.
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Several mediators had rallied to demand an inquiry into Ramanna’s “illegal actions” in relation to his role in setting up the IAMC last year.
The representation was signed by 65 jurists and arbitrators, including Panchu. In this many accusations of Panchu were repeated. It quoted several speeches of the then CJI and alleged that he “promoted the Center and used his official position to solicit business for the Centre.” It also claims that “Justice Ramanna has received almost massive financial benefits from the Telangana government.” It claimed that 5 acres of land and Rs 250 crore have been obtained in Hi-Tech City for its centre.
It was alleged that through such actions, Justice Ramanna “in his capacity as Chief Justice of India took money to arbitrate commercial matters and carried out commercial activities”, which is against the code of conduct. .
It also called for an investigation by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India – the country’s highest audit body – into the allegations, “as they involve large-scale misappropriation of public funds and property by the Telangana government without regard to procedure and propriety”.
“Can’t use the word judge or justice for Ramanna”
Panchu’s resignation letter stated, “Mr. Ramanna (I cannot use the word judge or justice) practically stopped the arbitration and the judiciary by starting a private company, the International Arbitration and Mediation Center (IAMC) in Hyderabad. Caused a lot of damage. “He did this when he led the country’s judiciary.”
Some of Panchu’s earlier allegations against the Center have been repeated in the resignation. It said: “On his request and clearly because of his (Ramanna’s) patronage, the Telangana state government has given huge amounts of immovable property and public money to the Centre, again in clear violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act.” “.
Among other things, Panchu also wrote that he was “a little surprised” that Ramanna was called an “expert arbitrator” while “at the judicial level, there is no known record of any arbitration conducted by Mr. Ramanna”.
(Editing by Rishabh Raj)
(Click here to read this news in English.)
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