The medical examination should be carried out in the presence of a judicial officer appointed by the Chief Justice of the Telangana Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that YSR Congressman Kanumuri Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, who is in Andhra police custody for sedition, should be immediately taken to the Army Hospital in Secunderabad for a medical examination.
A vacation bank owned by Judges Vineet Saran and BR Gavai expressed concern about Mr. Raju’s health. It instructed that Mr. Raju should be admitted to the Army Hospital pending further medical care orders.
The bank referred to the judge’s remarks that Mr. Raju needed a medical examination. The judge had noted the allegation made by Mr. Raju’s attorney that his client, a seated MP, had been subjected to third-degree methods by the police and that he could barely walk. In addition, Mr. Raju had bypass surgery last December. The State High Court had also ordered a medical examination.
In its eight-page order, the Supreme Court said the medical examination at Secunderabad Army Hospital should be carried out in the presence of a judicial officer appointed by the Chief Justice of the Telangana Supreme Court. The medical examination should be carried out by a board of three doctors formed by the head of the army hospital.
The exam was to be videotaped and the tape given to the Chancellor General of the Telangana Supreme Court, who in turn would refer it to the Supreme Court.
The bank said that the time Mr. Raju spent in the army hospital should be treated as part of his judicial custody. Mr. Raju would take care of his own hospital expenses.
Senior attorney Dushyant Dave for Andhra had agreed that Mr. Raju should be medically examined at the Army Hospital, but the attorney had vehemently objected to the MP’s being admitted to the hospital. Mr Dave said the allegations against Mr Raju were “very serious”.
Attorney General Tushar Mehta had no objection to Mr. Rohatgi’s proposal to even take Mr. Raju to AIIMS in New Delhi for medical treatment. But the bank chose the army hospital.
During the virtual trial, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi said on behalf of Mr. Raju that, of course, governments are adding the hate speech charge to prevent the accused from getting bail.
Narsapuram MP, also represented by senior attorney Adinarayana Rao and attorney Tatini Basu, alleged that the registration of the case against him was a “vengeful act” by his own party’s government in Andhra Pradesh, led by Prime Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. In his petition, the MP said his outspoken comments on various digital platforms against the state government had angered the current dispensation.
Mr. Raju urged the Supreme Court to protect his fundamental right to speak and express one’s opinion. Freedom of speech should not be shackled by imposing penalties on the speaker, he argued.
The bank planned the bail arguments on May 21. The government of Andhra has to bail its response to Mr. Raju’s appeal by May 19th.
Plea of the television broadcasters
A separate written petition was filed against the Andhra government by Ms. Shreya Broadcasting Pvt Ltd, who operates the TV5 channel.
The company has requested the repeal of a CID investigation report against the broadcaster in connection with the statements made by Mr. Raju. On the basis of this investigation report, a riot FIR was then registered against the channel.
The company, represented by attorney Vipin Nair, has called on the Supreme Court to continue the investigation and protect management and employees from any form of government enforcement.
The station covers neutral political issues in the USA and has received influential public figures from all areas of the political spectrum.
According to the FIR, Mr Raju’s offensive speeches were made across a range of media, including that of the petitioner. The only allegation made by the FIR against TV5 is that it allocated “pre-made” and “organized” slots to Mr. Raju, which, according to the challenged FIR, shows a disagreement among the defendants, “the company said in a written petition.
It was said that the “FIR failed miserably to establish a connection between TV5 and one of the alleged crimes”.