New Delhi; The CBI has booked 16 individuals for allegedly posting defamatory content against judges of the Supreme Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court on social media, officials said on Monday.
The case was earlier being probed by the Andhra Pradesh CID.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the case and submit a report to it in a sealed cover within eight weeks. The next hearing of the case is on December 14.
Taking cognizance of the alleged defamatory posts, the high court had directed the CBI to probe the role of prominent persons in the southern state, who were intentionally targeting the Supreme Court and high court judges.
"...the postings were made to bring hatred, contempt, incite disaffection and ill-will against the High Court and Hon'ble judges," the court had noted.
The bench comprising justices Rakesh Kumar and J Uma Devi had passed the order after 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.
On the directions of the high court, its registrar general got a complaint lodged with the CID, giving names and related evidence, but the state police wing reportedly booked only nine people.
"Their comments are perilous to democracy and amounted to an attack on the judiciary. If some ordinary person makes any comment against the government, cases are promptly registered against such persons.
"When persons in positions made comments against the judges and the courts, why have cases not been filed? Looking at things, we are left to infer that a war has been declared on the judiciary," the bench commented orally during a hearing.