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Andhra Pradesh HC orders CBI probe into defamatory posts against judges

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered a CBI probe into the cases involving commoners in general and persons occupying high posts making unwarranted and defamatory comments against the judges.

Taking suo motu cognisance of the contemptuous comments and social media posts, a bench of justices Rakesh Kumar and Uma Devi pronounced the order.

"The petitioner, whose shoulder is heavily burdened with the responsibility of mainly protecting the rights of a citizen guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India, has suffered inwardly pain due to indirect/direct attack on it by some of malefactors," said the order.

The court highlighted that even some people occupying high positions and Constitutional posts are not restraining themselves from committing the same mistakes.

"Since April, this Court has noticed that a new trend has developed in the state of Andhra Pradesh to abuse the high court and its judges on different social media platforms and even in the interviews given to electronic media," said the order.

According to the order, the first round of defamatory posts against the judges began with a YSRCP member's criticism of the court for its judgment quashing a government order mandating English medium teaching in government schools across the state. Later, many abusive posts followed.

"In a democratic state if such war is initiated against the judicial system by persons holding high posts, it will certainly create unnecessary doubts in the minds of the citizens against the judicial system, which may cripple the entire system," the judges noted.

In the order, the judges named MP Nandigam Suresh as saying that Nara Chandrababu Naidu is managing the the high court and comes to know the verdicts 10 minutes or half an hour prior to their pronouncements.

The court also identified one Chandu Reddy tweeting that "how many judges are there in the high court, all those will be cut into pieces".

The court said that no action was taken even after its entreaties.

The bench has now ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), directing it to file a report in a sealed cover within eight weeks.

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