Vijayawada: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed separate charge sheets against four persons in the case of derogatory social media posts against the judges and judiciary of Andhra Pradesh.

The crack down began when CBI registered a case in November 2020 against 16 persons and taken over the investigation of 12 FIRs from CID, Andhra Pradesh, following the orders of the state High Court. The accused include Dhani Reddy Konda Reddy, Pamula Sudheer, Adarsh Pattapu, and Lavanuru Samba Siva Reddy.

Probe found that, key personnel occupying posts of prominence in the state were intentionally targeting the judiciary by making derogatory posts on social media against judges and judiciary following some court verdicts delivered by the judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court.The CBI also initiated action to remove the objectionable posts from social media platforms and public domains.

During the course of the investigation, the accused were arrested on 28 July 2020 and 7 August 2021 from Vijayawada and Hyderabad. They are presently in judicial custody.

While, 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.

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.As part of the investigation, 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, officials said.

Earlier, Sleuths of 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 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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