Andhra Pradesh High Court: Cheekathi Manavendranath Roy J. dismissed the criminal petition and granted bail to the accused advocates and denied bail to accused software engineer.

The facts of the case are such that several persons have posted comments in the social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc., making certain wild and reckless allegations against the High Court and Judges of the High Court and the Judges of the Supreme Court with certain aspersions relating to the Judgments delivered by the Judges of the High Court and thereby that they indulged in the acts of bringing down the image of the judiciary and the High Court in the estimation of the members of the society, about 12 crimes were registered by the C.I.D., Amaravati. A case under Sections 153A, 504, 505(2), 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, was registered against the Petitioners. These three criminal petitions under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short “Cr.P.C.”), are filed to enlarge the petitioners on bail.

The court observed that both A-18 and A- 19 who are advocates by profession have in writing tendered unconditional apology to the High Court and requested to drop the proceedings against them. The Court has accepted the said apology and closed the contempt proceedings. Additionally, as the major part of investigation relating to the role played by A-18 and A-19 is concerned, has been completed, thus, A-18 and A-19 are entitled to bail.

The Court further observed that as regards the petitioner/A-20 is concerned, he tendering unconditional apology in the contempt proceedings is pending for consideration. The High Court did not accept the same and did not close the contempt proceedings against him. Therefore, he is not similarly placed with A-18 and A-19. Further, the comment that was posted by him in the social media is of serious nature which got effect of bringing down the image of judiciary and the High Court and Judges in the estimation of the members of the society. He being an educated man and Software Engineer is not justified in making such irresponsible comments against the Judiciary and the High Court. Therefore, as his request to accept his apology is still pending before the High Court and as investigation in this case is pending against him, this Court is not inclined to enlarge A-20 on bail at this stage.

The Court thus held “The petitioners, who are A-18 and A-19 are ordered to be enlarged on bail on execution of self bond for Rs.50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand only) each with two sureties for a like sum each to the satisfaction of IV Additional Junior Civil Judge, Guntur.”

[Gopala Krishna Kalanidhi v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine AP 419, decided on 25-02-2022]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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