The Andhra Pradesh High Court initiated contempt proceedings against 26 individuals, which included figures like Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLC Buddha Venkanna.

Andhra Pradesh High Court Takes Action Against Derogatory Social Media Posts Targeting Judges in Chandrababu Naidu's Case

The Andhra Pradesh High Court initiated contempt proceedings against 26 individuals, which included figures like Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLC Buddha Venkanna, party MLA Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary, and the suspended Chittoor district judge S Ramakrishna.

This action was taken in response to their alleged dissemination of "inappropriate" content and disparaging remarks about incumbent judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court. These judges had presided over various petitions concerning the arrest of TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in connection with a skill development scam case. Additionally, notices were dispatched to Google India, Twitter Communications, and Facebook India.

Allegations have been raised against the current judges of the High Court, alleging that they had ulterior motives in their rulings, and accompanying these accusations are slogans like "Victim of Reddy Raj in Judiciary." These allegations have been deemed unacceptable, as they are seen as an affront to the court's functioning and integrity, as they can potentially undermine public trust in the judiciary. Such actions are considered to be a serious matter as they can tarnish the reputation of the judicial system and impede its ability to carry out its duties impartially and fairly.

Previously, the suspended judge Ramakrishna had faced sedition charges for comments made against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2021. He was subsequently granted bail with the condition that he refrain from interacting with the media.

Former Chief Minister Naidu was arrested on September 9 in relation to the skill development case and has been detained in the Rajahmundry district jail under judicial custody. His legal team's petition to dismiss the charges against him was rejected by the AP High Court earlier this week, leading his lawyers to now approach the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the ACB court is still pending a decision on Naidu's bail application in the same case. This was reported in law portals like LiveLaw, Bar and Bench.

Venkanna, Butchaiah, and other TDP supporters are accused of sharing comments and memes that ridiculed the judges handling Naidu's corruption case related to the skill development scam. Some of these social media posts depicted Telugu film comedians in the roles of high court judges, while others insinuated that the judges were biased in favour of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).

Upon receiving numerous complaints from several lawyers who raised concerns about "inappropriate" social media posts targeting judges of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court and the High Court, Advocate General S Sriram took action by filing a contempt of court petition against the 26 individuals. During the proceedings before a division bench consisting of Justices Ch Manavendranath Roy and T Rajasekhar Rao, the court expressed its dissatisfaction and subsequently issued notices to the defendants.

Furthermore, the court instructed the Director General of Police (DGP) to identify the actual owners of the accounts associated with the individuals involved in the case. In response to this directive, some of the accounts have been deleted. The next hearing in this matter is scheduled for October 25. [Advocate General v. Sri Muvva Tarak Krishna Yadav and Ors, CNR Number: APHC01-048780-2023]

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Shrenika Surana

Shrenika Surana

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