The Supreme Court of India on Monday ordered the Andhra Pradesh government to take rebel MP Raghurama Krishnam Raju, who has been arrested under charges of sedition, to the Army Hospital in Secunderabad for a fresh medical examination. The YSRCP MP was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) wing of Andhra Police on charges of sedition last week and the MP, who is a known critic of the YSRCP government, had moved the Supreme Court seeking a fresh medical examination alleging that he was tortured in the CID custody.
The MP had moved the top court after the Andhra High Court refused to entertain his bail petition. However, the High Court had directed the government to provide him with medical care. On the High Court’s orders, doctors at the Guntur Government Hospital (GGH) reported that there were no injuries on MP’s body.
Hearing the MP’s petition, a bench of Justices V Saran and BR Gavai said that he be taken to the Secunderabad Army Hospital for examination and will be kept there till further orders. This will be treated as judicial custody, the SC said.
The Supreme Court also directed the Telangana High Court to nominate a judicial officer who will be with the MP during the medical examination, and ordered the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, as the MP is currently lodged in a jail in Guntur, to carry out its orders. The SC said that compliance with its order has to be ensured by the Registrar General of Telangana High Court too.
Justice Saran said that Raju’s medical examination should be video-graphed and the medical reports should be submitted to the court in a sealed cover. The Supreme Court posted the matter for further hearing on May 21. The rebel YSRCP MP will remain in the hospital until a medical board at the Army Hospital gives its opinion. The Supreme Court has also said that he will continue to enjoy Y category security cover at the Army Hospital.
The Supreme Court has also asked the Andhra Pradesh government to respond to Raju’s plea for interim bail in two days. The MP, who is in judicial custody, alleged that the sedition charges against him were ‘without any evidence’ and that it was ‘driven by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s vindictive attitude.’
The rebel YSRCP MP, who represents Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency, was arrested from his home in Hyderabad by a team of CID officials last week. The sedition case was registered against the MP by the Mangalagiri CID Police and as per the FIR, the case has been registered under Section 124 (A) (Sedition - Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law), Section 153(B) (committing offence that threatens the national integrity) and Section 505 (Public Mischief) read with 120(B) (Criminal conspiracy) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
The CID in a statement said that they have information that the MP was indulging in hate speech that was creating tension within certain communities and was attacking government dignitaries as well.
Raghurama Krishna Raju, over the past many months, has been at odds with the ruling YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh. The MP is a regular on Telugu news channels, criticising his party leadership and policies. Earlier this year, the CBI registered a fresh case against the rebel MP related to alleged defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 237.84 crore. He has also previously made controversial statements against Jagan, when last year he claimed that Hindus and Hindu places of worship are under threat in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He had accused YSRCP of caste-based politics, after which the party had served him a show cause notice.