Andhra Pradesh: Two senior lawyers held for derogatory posts on judges

Updated on Feb 14, 2022 03:57 AM IST

The arrested advocates were identified as Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi from Hyderabad and Metta Chandrasekhar from Tadepalli in Guntur district.

The CBI had also filed a petition in the court seeking custody of the arrested accused for further interrogation. (Representational photo)
The CBI had also filed a petition in the court seeking custody of the arrested accused for further interrogation. (Representational photo)
By, Hyderabad

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday arrested two senior advocates and a software engineer, accused of posting derogatory comments on social media against judges and the judiciary in Andhra Pradesh (AP).

The CBI arrested the trio in Hyderabad, where they were questioned till evening. Later, they were shifted to Vijayawada and after medical tests, were produced before a local court, which remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days late in the night, said an official privy to the matter.

The arrested advocates were identified as Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi from Hyderabad and Metta Chandrasekhar from Tadepalli in Guntur district; and the software engineer was identified as Gunta Ramesh Kumar from Hyderabad.

The CBI had also filed a petition in the court seeking custody of the arrested accused for further interrogation. The petition is expected to come up for hearing on Monday.

A senior advocate familiar with the matter said the CBI found about the involvement of the three accused, when they were tracing the origin of the derogatory posts.

The posts were made by a few social media activists against certain judges of AP high court, following some orders issued against the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the state, involving issues like Amaravati land scam, introduction of English medium in government schools etc.

Previously, the CBI had arrested 11 people in connection with the case in three instances. They were later released on bail. With the latest arrests, the number of accused arrested in the case has gone up to 14.Two more persons are yet to be arrested, an official familiar with the matter said.

The CBI had registered a case on November 11, 2020, against 16 accused under Sections 153(A) (promoting enmity), 504 (intentional insult), 505 (2) (issuing statements promoting hatred) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67(punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of IT Act, 2000.

The CBI took over the investigation of 12 FIRs from the state’s CID following the orders of Andhra Pradesh high court. The original FIRs were registered on complaints from the court’s registrar general.

In the FIRs, it was alleged that the key personnel occupying posts of prominence in the state intentionally made derogatory posts on social media platforms against judges and judiciary following some court verdicts delivered by the high court judges.

The CBI had also initiated action after it had registered its case to get the alleged objectionable posts removed from the social media platforms and other public domains. Several such posts and accounts were removed from the internet after the CBI registered the case.

The high court had also pulled up social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook for continuing the objectionable posts and warned of action if they don’t remove the same.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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