The Andhra Pradesh High Court judge Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy put in his papers in the wake of the prevailing situation in the court following the agitation by Telangana lawyers but there was suspense whether he has withdrawn his resignation.
There was no official communication on whether or not Justice Reddy, who submitted his resignation to Chief Justice Nissar Ahmed Kakru late last night, has withdrawn his decision to quit.
Justice Reddy has reportedly expressed "anguish" over the vandalism carried out by lawyers of Telangana region in the High Court for three days in a row. Chief Minister K Rosaiah and Forest Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy spoke to Justice Reddy, who hails from Kadapa district in the Rayalaseema region, and urged him to withdraw the resignation.
The agitating lawyers, who were demanding 42 per cent share in law officers' posts for Telangana region, allegedly damaged furniture and disrupted proceedings in the court hall of Justice Nagarjuna Reddy three days ago. The lawyers also allegedly abused the judge and threw placards at him.
"I was very upset that many anti-social elements entered the sacred court hall and abused the judiciary. No one has taken enough care even when the judiciary as an institution was under attack for the last three days," the judge said in his resignation letter.
However, Chief Justice Kakru who rushed back to Hyderabad from Srinagar late yesterday, rejected Justice Nagarjuna Reddy's resignation and counselled him to withdraw it.
Though initial reports suggested that the judge had relented following the Chief Justice's counsel, there were reports that Justice Reddy remained firm on his decision to quit.
He came to the High Court this morning but did not conduct any proceedings, official sources said.
Meanwhile, the full bench of the High Court that met under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice took a very serious view of the Telangana lawyers' agitation and decided to conduct an enquiry into the violent incidents over the last three days.
Official sources said the High Court full bench also issued a stern warning to the Telangana lawyers saying such agitations and protests were not permitted in the High Court.
The lawyers responsible for the vandalism in the court would be identified and punished.
"We will take severe action against the lawyers if such incidents recur," the bench warned. The bench also imposed restrictions under which only those lawyers whose cases were due for hearing would be allowed into the court.
Only security personnel would be permitted to enter the court premises after 6 pm, the bench said.