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Andhra Pradesh HC orders CBI probe over social media posts against the Judiciary

A bench, comprising Justices Rakesh Kumar and J Uma Devi, directed the CBI to register an FIR and submit a report in eight weeks.

Published: 12th October 2020 09:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2020 09:33 AM   |  A+A-

Andhra Pradesh High Court

Andhra Pradesh High Court

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the social media posts against judges and the Judiciary. The court asked the CBI to start the investigation immediately and unravel whether there is a conspiracy behind the posts.The HC directed it to take action against any person, irrespective of their position, if it is proved that there is a conspiracy behind posting derogatory remarks against the Judiciary on social media. The court also wanted the CBI to take steps to remove the alleged derogatory social media posts and block the users as per the law. It directed the CBI to submit a report of the probe in a sealed cover within eight weeks.

The Bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar and Justice J Uma Devi gave its orders on a petition filed by the High Court Registrar General into the alleged derogatory social media posts against judges and the Judiciary after the HC struck down the Government Order that paved the way for English to be made the medium of education in government schools, and handed over the case related to the alleged high-handed behaviour of the police towards Narsipatnam doctor Sudhakar Rao to the CBI.

The Bench asked the High Court registry to hand over all material, including the writ petition, to the CBI. If the CBI, on examination of the records, finds other cognisable offences, it can file more FIRs, investigate and bring the same to its logical end, the Bench said.

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“If it is noticed that it was due to the result of a larger conspiracy, the CBI is required to take appropriate action against such culprits irrespective of the post and position. It goes without saying that the CBI, immediately after taking up the investigation, may take steps so that all defamatory posts on social media, may be struck down and it may also take steps to block such users in accordance with the law,” the Bench ordered.

The case was posted to December 14 for further hearing. The 20-page order also directed the State government and DGP to ensure full cooperation and assistance to the CBI, if sought. The Bench said it is directing the CBI to probe the case as the agency is fairly fit (to investigate the case) and has a wide scope for investigation. Further, the respondents — the CID and the State — also agreed to a CBI probe, it said. 

Remove derogatory posts, block users: HC to CBI

The court also wanted the CBI to take steps to remove the alleged derogatory social media posts and block the users as per the law. The Bench asked the HC registry to hand over all material to the CBI. If the CBI, finds other cognisable offences, it can file more FIRs, investigate and bring the same to its logical end, the Bench said.



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