Ranchi: Days after the Chief Justice of India (CJI) pulled up the CBI and IB for ‘not helping the judiciary at all’, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Sunday arrested five persons in connection with alleged defamatory posts against Andhra Pradesh High Court judges. Notably, a series of allegedly derogatory posts were made on social media platforms against judges and the judiciary, following some court verdicts that went against the state government.Also Read - Prime Focus is Right to Life of Citizens, Says Supreme Court on Firecrackers Ban
In a statement, the probe agency said, “CBI has arrested two more accused on 7th August in an ongoing investigation of a case relating to making derogatory posts on social media against judges and the judiciary. Five accused have so far been arrested in the case. An investigation in the case is continuing including through the channels of MLAT, INTEROL to collect evidence from abroad.” Also Read - Supreme Court Approves Proposal For Elevation of 8 New Judges to Patna High Court
CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said that they have also interrogated other people including an MP, ex-MLA in connection with the 2-year old case. For the unversed, the case was earlier being probed by the Andhra Pradesh The Central Bureau of Investigation(CID). However, last year on November 16, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the CBI to probe the case and submit a report to it in a sealed cover within eight weeks. Also Read - It's a Matter of Right, Not Charity: CJI N V Ramana on 50% Reservation For Women in Judiciary
The development comes days after Chief Justice NV Ramana while hearing a suo-moto case on safeguarding courts and ensuring protection and security of judges in the wake of the recent murder of Uttam Anand, Jharkhand District Judge said, “New trend developed in the country. No freedom given to judges. If judges complain to the IB and CBI, they are not helping the judiciary at all. This is a serious matter. I am saying it with a sense of responsibility”.
The apex court told Attorney General K K Venugopal that there are several cases that involve gangsters and high-profile persons and there are instances of judges getting threats or abusive messages. “There is no freedom to the judges to even file a complaint,” the SC said, adding that police or the CBI is not helping the judiciary if such complaints are filed.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Uttam Anand was killed on July 28 after an auto-rickshaw hit him while he was on a morning walk, and a case was registered by the police on a complaint from his wife against an unknown auto driver. As per the reports, Anand had denied bail to 2 gangsters and had been handling many cases of mafia killings in Dhanabad.
After CCTV footage surfaced, the Jharkhand government had formed an SIT to probe the matter. But later, it recommended that the CBI probe the death. The source said that the agency sleuths have also verified the auto-rickshaw which had hit the ADJ during his morning walk.