Updated: August 9, 2021 5:46:59 am
Two days after CJI N V Ramana criticised the CBI for not helping the judiciary in matters relating to the security of judges, the agency on Sunday said it has arrested five people for allegedly posting defamatory content against the judiciary in Andhra Pradesh.
The CBI said it arrested two individuals on Saturday, a day after the CJI’s remarks, and three earlier. The investigative agency said it has also questioned a Member of Parliament and a former MLA from Andhra Pradesh in connection with the case.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested two more accused on 07.08.2021 in an on-going investigation of a case relating to making derogatory posts on social media against judges and the judiciary,” the CBI said in a statement.
The accused, identified as Pattaru Aadarsh and Lavanuru Samba Siva Reddy, were produced before a Guntur Court in Andhra on Sunday. CBI had earlier arrested Dhami Reddy Konda Reddy, Pamula Sudhir and Lingareddy Rajshekhar Reddy in the case.
Sources said it has earlier questioned YSR Congress MP Nandigam Suresh and former MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan earlier.
Criticising the CBI and IB, the Supreme Court had on Friday said that the agencies are “not helping the judiciary at all” in matters relating to security of judges. It also said that the police and CBI do not respond to complaints from judges.
Heading a two-judge bench which took up the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court in connection with the death of Dhanbad Additional Sessions Judge Uttam Anand, CJI Ramana had said, “There are several cases in the country which involve gangsters and where high profile people are accused” and that judges are sometimes “threatened mentally also by sending messages on WhatsApp, SMS” or harassed through social media posts.
SC had said: Not helping
THE CBI statement comes days after the SC criticised it for “doing nothing” and “not helping the judiciary” in matters related to security of judges. The SC had also flagged the “new trend” to “malign” the judiciary when adverse orders are passed.
The CBI had registered a case on November 11, 2020 against 16 accused and taken over the investigation of the case in connection with the 12 FIRs by the CID, Andhra Pradesh in pursuance of the orders of High Court of Andhra Pradesh. The original FIRs were registered on the complaints from the Registrar General of the high court.
“It was alleged that the accused, by intentionally targeting the Judiciary, made derogatory posts on social media platform against Hon’ble Judges and Judiciary, following some Court verdicts delivered by the Judges of Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh,” the CBI said in a statement.
“After registration of the case, CBI traced 13 of the 16 accused named in FIR in the case on various digital platforms. Three out of them were found to be abroad. CBI so far examined 11 out of above 13 accused persons and arrested 5 out of them. Evidence against remaining 6 accused persons is being evaluated for further necessary legal action. CBI is pursuing to secure the presence of two other accused said to be abroad, for their examination,” it added.
Searches were also conducted by the CBI at the premises of accused persons which led to the recovery of several incriminating documents, it claimed.
“It was also found that one accused was allegedly using a passport with a name different from his real identity. To investigate larger conspiracy, CBI has also examined certain persons including an MP, ex-MLA and also continued investigation into the role of other persons who were not mentioned in the FIR,” it said.
The CBI also said that it has taken action to get objectionable posts removed from social media platforms. A lot of such posts/accounts were removed from the internet, it stated.
“Investigation is continuing including through the channels of MLAT, INTEROL to collect evidence from abroad,” it said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.