Andhra Pradesh

Judges abuse case: HC summons CBI SP today

A Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court consisting of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Kanneganti Lalitha directed the Superintendent of Police of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to appear before it on October 29 and explain what action has so far been taken against those who posted derogatory messages against High Court Judges and the judiciary through social media last year.

Hearing fresh arguments on the posting of contemptuous speeches, interviews and messages against the Judges by several individuals, who included some YSR Congress Party leaders, on Thursday, the court sought to know apart from filing a few periodical reports, what concrete steps were taken by the CBI to bring the culprits to book and get the malicious content removed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. ever since the State CID handed over the investigation to it almost a year ago.

The Judges observed that they need not tell the country’s premier investigating agency how to go about the probe as it had experienced officers and the technological wherewithal to crack such cases. But, it did not discharge its duties properly, which was evident from many accused being still at large and some of them hiding overseas.

The Judges made a specific reference to the vicious campaign that was unleashed by ‘Punch Prabhakar’, who is yet to be arrested, and others.

Appearing for Facebook and WhatsApp respectively, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Kapil Sibal said there were certain technical constraints, like those related to the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) in curbing the menace but admitted that a way had to be found out to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

Representing the Union of India, Assistant Solicitor-General N. Harinath said an interim application seeking directions to the petitioners concerned or the investigating agency to furnish the URL details was filed in August 2020 and the same was pending. Advocate P. Subhash presented arguments on the CBI’s behalf.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 11:31:02 PM |

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