CBI arrests 5 people in a month for derogatory remarks against judges, judiciary
Two days after a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana lamented that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and other agencies “are not helping the judiciary at all”, the agency said it has arrested five people in the last one month for allegedly posting derogatory content on social media against judges and the judiciary.
The arrests have been made in an unrelated case, in which a probe was launched by the CBI in November last year on the orders of the Andhra Pradesh high court.
Officials who didn’t want to be named said they have also examined a Lok Sabha member – N Suresh and a former MLA – Amanchi Krishnamohan, both belonging to YSR Congress, in the matter to unearth a larger conspiracy.
The five people arrested by the premier agency include - Pattapu Aadarsh and Lavanuru Samba Siva Reddy from Andhra Pradesh (arrested on Saturday); Dhami Reddy Konda Reddy and Pamula Sudheer (arrested on July 28) and Lingareddy Rajasekhar Reddy (who was arrested on July 9 on his arrival from Kuwait). “We were monitoring Lingareddy’s movements. The moment he landed in India, the officers took him into their custody,” said one of the officers cited above.
CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said – “It was alleged that the accused, by intentionally targeting the judiciary, made derogatory posts on social media platforms against judges and the judiciary, following some court verdicts delivered by the judges of the high court of Andhra Pradesh”.
After registration of the case, the CBI traced 13 of the 16 accused named in the first information report (FIR) on various digital platforms, he said.
Two accused are said to be based in the US while another person is also abroad somewhere, said a second officer.
“We have so far examined 11 out of the 13 accused people and arrested five out of them. Evidence against the remaining six accused is being evaluated for further necessary legal action. CBI is pursuing the case to secure the presence of two other accused said to be abroad for their examination,” Joshi added.
Without divulging the date, Joshi added that teams carried out searches at the premises of the accused that led to the information that one of them was allegedly using a passport in a different name.
Subsequently, the CBI also got the objectionable posts removed from social media platforms.
Joshi said the CBI has sought cooperation through the channels of MLAT (mutual legal assistant treaties) and the Interpol to collect evidence from abroad.
The CBI had taken over 12 First Information Reports (FIRs), registered by the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Division (CID) from April to July 2020 on the complaint of the Registrar General of Andhra Pradesh high court, and clubbed all these into one case.
According to the CBI FIR, it was alleged in the complaint that key persons who were occupying posts of prominence in the state of Andhra Pradesh, by intentionally targeting the Hon’ble 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.
The CJI, on Friday, rued that judges are not on priority for investigating agencies and that their complaints are not heeded despite specialised agencies like the CBI getting roped in.
“In one or two places, the court ordered a CBI inquiry. I am very sorry to say that the CBI has done nothing in more than one year. At one place, I know, the CBI has done nothing. I think we expected some changes in CBI’s attitude. But there is no change in the attitude of the CBI. I am sorry to observe this but this is the situation,” the CJI told attorney general KK Venugopal, who was called by the bench for assistance.