The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday directed the CBI to investigate some allegedly derogatory comments about the court and some judges made by leaders of the ruling YSR Congress Party on social media.
The HC had earlier directed the Registrar to lodge a complaint with the CID to investigate the comments after the court granted a stay on decentralisation of the state capital.
On Monday, a bench comprising Justice Rakesh Kumar and Justice Uma Devi observed that the CID’s probe was not satisfactory and directed the CBI to register an FIR and submit a report in eight weeks. The court observed that in spite of lodging a complaint with CID, no case was registered against any YSRCP leader who allegedly made the comments.
The HC had directed the Registrar to lodge a complaint with the CID after it took cognizance of allegedly derogatory posts against some judges and the judiciary following judgments that were seen as a setback to the government. The Registrar submitted evidence of comments allegedly made by Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram, Deputy Chief Minister Narayana Swamy, MPs V Vijayasai Reddy and Nandigam Suresh, and other leaders of the ruling YSRCP.
Taking up the matter again on Monday, the court asked why cases were not filed against them.
While referring the comments for investigation by the CID last week, the court had observed, “Their comments are perilous to democracy and amounted to an attack on the judiciary. In a democratic State if such war is initiated against the judicial system by persons holding high positions, certainly it will create unnecessary doubt in the mind of citizen against the judicial system, which may cripple entire system if some ordinary person makes any comment against the government, cases are promptly registered… When persons in positions made comments against the judges and the courts, why have cases not been filed? Looking at things, we are left to infer that a war has been declared on the judiciary.”
While directing the CBI to register an FIR, the court observed that since April they have noticed that HC judges and the judiciary were being abused on various social media platforms, and even in interviews in electronic media.
According to the FIR lodged with the CID, the alleged derogatory comments on the HC and its judges started when the HC set aside a government order making English the medium of instruction in all government schools. More posts allegedly followed when the HC set aside an order removing the state election commissioner N Ramesh Kumar.
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