Vijayawada: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested five persons in an ongoing investigation of a case relating to derogatory social media posts against Andhra Pradesh High Court judges.

Recently, the Chief Justice of India, N.V Ramana, had said that investigation agencies do not respond when lower court judges complain about threats. He made this comment after a judge in Jharkhand was allegedly murdered in broad daylight.

CBI arrested two persons on 7 August in the derogatory post case. They are being produced before the Competent Court, Guntur, on Sunday. The accused are identified as Pattapu Aadarsh and Lavanuru Samba Siva Reddy.

Prior to this, CBI had arrested two persons on 28 July. The Designated Court had remanded both the accused to police custody. While one accused, Pamula Sudheer, has been further remanded to police custody till 10 August, the other, Dhami Reddy Konda Reddy, was sent to judicial custody.

CBI made the first arrest in the case on 9 July. Lingareddy Rajasekhar Reddy was caught and examined. He was also remanded to judicial custody by the court.

On 11 November 2020, CBI had registered a case against 16 accused and taken over the investigation of 12 FIRs from Andhra Pradesh CID in pursuance of the orders of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. The original FIRs were registered on the complaints from the registrar general of AP High Court. The case was registered under various sections of the IPC and IT Act 2000.

It was alleged that the accused, by intentionally targeting the judiciary, made derogatory posts on social media platforms against judges and judiciary, following some court verdicts delivered by the judges of AP High Court.

After registration of the case, CBI had traced 13 of the 16 accused named in the FIR. Three out of them were found to be abroad. CBI has so far examined 11 out of the 13 accused persons and arrested five of them. Evidence against the remaining six accused persons is being evaluated for further necessary legal action. CBI is pursuing to secure the presence of two other accused said to be living abroad for their examination.

CBI also conducted searches at the premises of the accused persons which led to the recovery of several incriminating documents. It was also found that one accused was allegedly using a passport with a different name.

To investigate the larger conspiracy, CBI has also examined certain persons including an MP, ex-MLA, and continues to investigate the role of other persons who were not mentioned in the FIR. It also initiated action after it had registered the case to get objectionable posts removed from social media platforms and public domains.

CBI also said that the investigation is continuing including through the channels of MLAT, INTERPOL to collect evidence from abroad.

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