The Central Bureau of Investigation has initiated a probe against some YSR Congress party supporters who allegedly posted abusive comments and derogatory statements on the social media against the Andhra Pradesh High Court and Supreme Court judges earlier this year, people familiar with the development said.
The agency took over 12 First Information Reports (FIRs), registered by the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Division (CID) from April to July this year on the complaint of Registrar General of Andhra Pradesh high court, and clubbed all these into a single case.
Sixteen people have been named as accused by the central agency in its FIR registered on November 11 and they have been charged under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, residence, language etc), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 505 (inciting a community), 506 (criminal intimidation) and section 67 of Information Technology Act.
According to the CBI FIR, it was alleged in the complaint that key persons who were occupying posts of prominence in Andhra Pradesh, by intentionally targeting the judges, made interviews/posts/speeches attributing motive, caste and corrupt allegations to some of the Supreme Court judges and high court judges in delivering orders/judgements.
“These people posted abusive, life threatening and intimidating posts against judges on Facebook, Twitter over recent judgments delivered by judges of Andhra Pradesh HC,” the CBI FIR said.
The CBI has stated that it has clubbed 12 CID cases into one “in view of the similarities in the nature of allegations and the modus operandi and for the purpose of uniformity and to look into commonality, if any”.
A division bench of Andhra Pradesh high court, comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar and Justice J Uma Devi, had ordered a CBI probe in the matter on October 12 observing that the CID had failed to take appropriate action against those who had made derogatory comments against the judiciary.
“The persons occupying high posts are indulging in waging war against the judicial system in the state, oblivious to the fact that even their entity existed since there is a democratic system in our country. In a democratic state, if such a war is initiated against the judicial system by persons holding high positions, certainly it will create unnecessary doubt in the mind of citizens against the judicial system, which may cripple the entire system,” the bench had remarked.
Chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy had complained to the Chief Justice of India that the Andhra Pradesh High Court Chief Justice and four other judges were acting against his elected government at the behest of a senior Supreme Court judge. Reddy had claimed that this SC judge was close to his rival, the Telugu Desam Party chief, Chandrababu Naidu.
Reacting to the development, senior YSR Congress party legislator and government chief whip G Srikanth Reddy said the comments made by some social media activists allegedly against some judges of Andhra Pradesh high court only reflected the feelings of the common people in the state.
“Whenever there is any judgment from the high court against the state government, the Telugu Desam Party leaders are claiming it as their victory. Doesn’t it given an impression among the people that the judiciary in the state is acting in favour of the TDP?” Reddy asked.
He said let the CBI inquiry bring out all the facts. “The people will judge who is right and who is wrong,” he said.
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