SC Grants Bail to Rebel YSR Congress MP in Sedition Case Lodged in Andhra Pradesh

The Supreme Court Friday granted bail to rebel YSR Congress MP K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, who was arrested in a sedition case lodged by Andhra Pradesh Police. A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and B R Gavai, while referring to Raju’s medical report received from the Army hospital at Secunderabad, said it cannot be ruled out that the MP was ill-treated in the custody. The apex court imposed several bail conditions on Raju, including that he would not give any interview to the media with regard to the case.

On May 17, the top court had ordered forthwith transfer of Raju to the Army hospital at Secunderabad in neighbouring Telangana for medical examination and hospitalization till further orders. Raju, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Narsapuram parliamentary constituency in Andhra Pradesh, alleged that the sedition case has been lodged against him by state police “because of political vendetta” as he has been criticizing “the action of his own party”. While granting him bail, the bench also directed him to cooperate in the investigation. During the hearing conducted through video-conferencing, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Raju, said that the MP was tortured in custody due to which he has sustained injuries.

At the outset, the bench said that report received from the Army hospital says that Raju has fracture in his toe. Rohatgi argued that his allegation of torture is proved by the medical report.

They are doing this to an MP, he said, adding, Please grant him bail and the matter of torture should be investigated by the CBI. Arguing that no case of sedition is made out against the leader, Rohatgi said that Raju is a sitting MP of the party and he has been critical of the state government and also the chief minister. Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the state, said that Rohatgi should not make statements against the chief minister as he is not a party in the matter.

Dave argued that Raju’s plea seeking bail should be dismissed. Referring to his statements, Dave said offence of sedition of made out.

Regarding the medical report, he said Raju was medically examined on May 16 and there is X-ray report in which no injury or fracture was there. The bench was hearing two appeals, including one by Raju, against the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing his bail and asking him to go to appropriate forum for the relief. In the second appeal, his son K Bharath has sought Raju’s medical examination by a private hospital.

On May 15, the CID, which arrested Raju on various charges, including sedition, also named two media houses and “others” as accused in the case. They were charged for alleged offences under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (statements conducing public mischief) read with 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, according to the FIR.

The CID, which registered the case on its own, alleged, “Sri Raju did not restrict himself to fair criticism of the government but has made every attempt to create hatred, contempt disaffection towards the government. Not only has he done this through his words, but also used visual gestures of face and hands to provoke his followers to take up violence. They are seditious in nature.” The CID also alleged that the MP particularly targeted two communities and tried to stoke hatred against them by trying to portray that the government has been favouring the two.

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