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Social Media Posts Against HC, SC Judges: AP High Court Grants Bail To 2 Advocates, Denies Bail To A Software Engineer

Sparsh Upadhyay
27 Feb 2022 10:28 AM GMT
Social Media Posts Against HC, SC Judges: AP High Court Grants Bail To 2 Advocates, Denies Bail To A Software Engineer
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The Andhra Pradesh High Court last week denied bail to a software engineer who has been accused of making wild and reckless allegations against the High Court Judges of the High Court and the Judges of the Supreme Court.The Bench of Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy, however, granted bail to two advocates taking into account the fact that they tendered an apology that was already accepted...

The Andhra Pradesh High Court last week denied bail to a software engineer who has been accused of making wild and reckless allegations against the High Court Judges of the High Court and the Judges of the Supreme Court.

The Bench of Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy, however, granted bail to two advocates taking into account the fact that they tendered an apology that was already accepted by the High Court.

It may be noted that in the year 2020, a division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice Lalitha Kanneganti had issued suo moto contempt notices to 49 persons, including a Member of Parliament and a former Member of Legislative Assembly, observing that they made intimidating and abusive social media posts against judges.

Thereafter, the High Court had transferred the probe in the matter to CBI and had directed it to investigate the derogatory social media posts against judges and the CBI has booked several persons in connection with this case.

The instant three criminal bail petitions had been filed by such three accused booked by the CBI under Sections 153A, 504, 505(2), 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The case in brief

The two bail applicants before the Court were advocates and one was a software engineer. It has been alleged that both the advocates recorded a selfie-video, making certain comments in relating to the direction given by this Court to the C.B.I. to take up investigation in the case of a Doctor who was subjected to humiliation by the Police.

Allegedly, they made certain comments against the High Court in entrusting the investigation in the said matter to the C.B.I. and uploaded the said video with the said comments and aspersions against the High Court on YouTube and also forwarded the said video to a TV Channel.

On the other hand, the Third applicant, a software engineer has been accused of posting a comment in the Social Media i.e. on Facebook making certain reckless allegations against the Judges of the High Court.

Court's order

As regards both the advocate-bail applicants, the Court noted that both of them have already tendered an unconditional apology to the High Court and they have requested to drop the proceedings against them and that the HC has also accepted their apology.

The Court also observed that the C.B.I. had already examined the material witnesses relating to the role played by them and the video in question has also been seized, therefore, noting that major part of an investigation relating to their roles had been completed and as they also tendered, the Court granted them Bail.

Regarding the case of the third applicant-software engineer, the Court noted that although he had filed his affidavit tendering unconditional apology in the contempt proceedings, still the same was pending consideration before the High Court and the HC did not accept the same and did not close the contempt proceedings against him

The Court also noted that the comment that was posted by him in the social media is of serious nature which got the effect of bringing down the image of the judiciary and the High Court and Judges in the estimation of the members of the society.

"He being an educated man and Software Engineer is not justified in making such irresponsible comments against the Judiciary and the High Court," the Court remarked it refused bail to him.

Case title - Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi and 2 others v. The State Of Andhra Pradesh

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 22

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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