The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday observed that the comments made against the judiciary by some ruling YSRCP leaders on social media were perilous to democracy, and said the case would be handed over to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) for investigation if the state Crime Investigation Department failed.
Since the social media companies are multinational, the court said it would consider handing over the probe to the CBI and asked if the state had any objection to it.
Advocate General Sriram Subramaniam said the government had no objection for a CBI probe if the court did not make any comments or draw conclusions against the state government or the CID, following which a division bench, comprising Justices Rakesh Kumar and Uma Devi, reserved orders on this.
The court was hearing complaints that some ruling YSRCP leaders had passed comments on the judiciary in social media. The court criticised the state government for not filing cases against them.
The court orally observed that the comments made on social media by Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram, Deputy Chief Minister Narayana Swamy, MPs V Vijayasai Reddy, Nandigam Suresh and other leaders of the ruling party amounted to an attack on the judiciary.
The division bench said they would be left to feel that cases were not registered against the YSRCP leaders only to save them. "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.
The judges asked the CID counsel if the Speaker made the comments (against the judiciary) in the Assembly or outside. The counsel informed the bench that the Speaker made the comments on Tirumala Hills.
The bench on Thursday was hearing the case that it had taken cognizance of on its own, over the alleged derogatory comments made in social media against the High Court judges and the judiciary following a series of adverse verdicts against the ruling YSRCP government.
The CID had registered a case on the directions of the High Court to probe the matter, based on a complaint filed by the Registrar General.