Amaravati, May 30: In an unprecedented order, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has initiated contempt of court proceedings against 49 social media users. While ordering contempt of court proceedings, the Andhra Pradesh High Court said a smear campaign is going on to scandalise the court and lower the image of the HC and its judges in the public eye. It also directed the Jagan Mohan Reddy government to identify eight unidentified netizens.

The High Court took the unprecedented move after it found that judges who ruled against certain decisions of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government were called former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's men. According to a report, between May 22 and May 24, the HC received several e-mails and found several posts on social media with videos attributing "motives, caste bias and corruption allegations" against judges of the Supreme Court and the high court for their orders on several PILs.

Some of these posts were shared by supporters of the ruling YSR Congress Party. The High Court found the posts containing "abusive, life-threatening and intimidating words against the judges". "There is also fabrication of material with abusive, hatred and contemptuous content to cause incitement, disaffection and ill will against the HC and its judges," the court said. Know How to Be a Corona Warrior and Not a Fake News or Hate Virus Carrier! Else, We on Social Media and News Channels Will Bring the Doomsday Soon.

Describing the posts as "an attempt to scandalise the institution", the advocate general gave his consent in writing to initiate contempt of court proceedings against 49 social media users. Never before has a constitutional court ordered contempt proceedings against so many people and that too over their remarks on social media.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 30, 2020 01:49 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website