Two days after CJI NV Ramana criticized the CBI for failing to help the judiciary with judicial security, the agency announced on Sunday that it had arrested five people for allegedly posting defamatory material against justice in Andhra Pradesh.
CBI said it arrested two people on Saturday, a day after CJI’s comments, and three earlier. The investigative agency said it also interviewed a member of parliament and a former member of parliament from Andhra Pradesh in connection with the case.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested two other defendants on 07.08.2021 as part of an ongoing investigation into a case relating to derogatory publications on social networks against judges and the judiciary,” said the CBI said in a statement.
The defendants, identified as Pattaru Aadarsh and Lavanuru Samba Siva Reddy, were brought before a court in Guntur in Andhra on Sunday. CBI had previously arrested Dhami Reddy Konda Reddy, Pamula Sudhir and Lingareddy Rajshekhar Reddy in this case.
Sources said they previously interviewed Congressman YSR Nandigam Suresh and former MP Amanchi Krishna Mohan.
Criticizing the CBI and the IB, the Supreme Court said on Friday that the agencies “do not help the judiciary at all” when it comes to the safety of judges. He also said the police and the CBI were not responding to complaints from judges.
At the head of a bench of two judges which examined the suo motu case registered by the Supreme Court in connection with the death of the judge of the additional sessions of Dhanbad, Uttam Anand, the CJI Ramana had declared: “There are several cases in the country which involve gangsters and where profile people are accused “and that judges are sometimes” mentally threatened also by sending messages on WhatsApp, SMS “or harassed through posts on social networks.
SC had said: Do not help
The CBI’s statement comes days after the SC criticized it for “doing nothing” and “not helping the judiciary” in matters related to the safety of judges. The SC had also pointed out the “new trend” to “slander” the judiciary when unfavorable orders are made.
The CBI had registered a case on November 11, 2020 against 16 defendants and resumed the investigation of the case in connection with the 12 FIRs by the CID, Andhra Pradesh in application of the orders of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. The original FIRs were registered on complaints from the Registrar General of the High Court.
“It was alleged that the accused, intentionally targeting the judiciary, posted disparaging posts on the social media platform against the honorable judges and judiciary, following certain court verdicts issued by judges of the Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh, “the CBI said in a statement.
“After the case was registered, the CBI tracked 13 of the 16 defendants named in the FIR in the case on various digital platforms. Three of them were abroad. The IWC has so far examined 11 of the 13 accused above and arrested 5. The evidence against the other 6 accused is being assessed for the necessary prosecution. The CBI seeks to obtain the presence of two other defendants who would be abroad, for their questioning, ”he added.
Searches were also carried out by the CBI in the premises of the accused which made it possible to recover several documents against him, she said.
“It was also found that an accused was allegedly using a passport with a name different from his real identity. To investigate a larger conspiracy, the CBI also examined some people, including an MP, a former MPP, and also continued to investigate the role of other people who were not mentioned in the FIR ”, did he declare.
The CBI also said it has taken steps to have the objectionable posts removed from social media platforms. Many of these messages / accounts have been deleted from the internet, he said.
“The investigation is continuing, including through the channels of MLAT, INTEROL to collect evidence abroad,” he said.