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AP HC prohibits Publication of News Items/Social Media Posts on FIR with Respect to Alleged Amaravati Land Scam

AP HC prohibits Publication of News Items/Social Media Posts on FIR with Respect to Alleged Amaravati Land Scam
An FIR has been filed on Tuesday 15th September 2020 by officers of the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Guntur’s police station against a former state law official and others accusing in illegal land purchase near Amaravati. While the FIR has been lodged, news regarding such has been circulated in different media platforms which lead the accused state official to file a petition against the lodged FIR.

The representatives of the accused official, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Shyam Divan alleged in the petition in the High Court stating that the state government of Andhra Pradesh was purposefully targeting their client and also alleged the Andhra Pradesh Anti-Corruption Bureau that it is working with the void intentions to defame their client and the whole issue is given a different political aspect and a media trial. The petitioner sought the Hon’ble High court to put a gag order on the issue.

An order was made after observing the petition by Chief Justice J K Maheshwari stating that no further action should be taken against the accused regarding the FIR lodged after the writ petition filed by the petitioner. The order further notified that no further instigation and inquiry shall be made until the court orders for such. It was also mentioned in the order directing that no information related to the FIR and the investigation shall be made public via any news or media platforms for the respect and privacy of the accused. The order further added key points directing The Secretary, Home Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh., shall inform through the Information and Public Relations Department, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh to the immediate effect that no electronic media and the social media houses shall publish any information related to the issue until further court orders. Appearing on behalf of the AP government, Advocate C Mohan Reddy submitted that the prayer for a gag order was infructuous as the news was already out in the electronic media.

After hearing both parties, the Court issued a notice in the matter and sought replies from the respondents within four weeks.


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